Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide

2014-09-12 10:21
Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/Pool)

Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/Pool)

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Pretoria - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide in the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

He was found not guilty of premeditated murder.

Pistorius was also found not guilty of firing a shot through an open sunroof and for the illegal possession of ammunition, but was found guilty of firing a shot in a Johannesburg restaurant in 2013.

Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down her judgment in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday.

Pistorius, 27, killed his model girlfriend in his Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

He was charged with murder, and also faced three charges of contravening the Firearms Control Act - for illegally possessing ammunition, for firing a shot through the open sunroof of a car in 2012, and for firing a shot in a Johannesburg restaurant in 2013.

Pistorius stands for verdict

"The unanimous decision of this court is the following. On count one murder...the accused is found is not guilty...instead he is found guilty of culpable homicide," she said.

"There is no basis for this court to make the inference that the accused wanted to kill the deceased.

"The conduct of the accused shortly after the incident is inconsistent with someone who had wanted to commit murder."

She initially asked athlete to stand up before she handed down her verdict.

He stood up with his hands folded in front of him.

He looked straight at Masipa and did not show any emotions when she said he was guilty of culpable homicide.

His family also showed no reaction.

The only sound in the court was that of reporters hastily typing the verdict.

Watch Judge Masipa hand down Oscar's final verdict here:


Masipa said evidential material before the court showed that Pistorius acted negligently when he fired into the toilet door, knowing there was someone behind it.

"It cannot be said that the accused did not entertain a genuine belief that there was an intruder in the toilet who posed a threat to him," she said.

"It could not be said that he foresaw that either the deceased or anyone else for that matter might be killed when he fired the shots at that door."

When Masipa announced her verdict Steenkamp's father Barry leaned forward and laced his fingers on the edge of the public gallery. Her mother June showed no emotion.


Steenkamp's friends started crying. Her cousin Kim Martins was being consoled by her husband as she sat looking down after the verdict was announced.

Members of the Steenkamp family looked at Pistorius when he stood up.

Steenkamp's friend Gina Myers started crying and was consoled by her mother Desi and sister Kim.

Court was silent as Masipa read out the judgment.

Afterwards Pistorius sat down and stared straight ahead. One of his aunt's, seated in the front row, briefly closed her eyes and her lips moved as if she was praying.

- Sapa and News24

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  thokozile masipa  |  pistorius trial


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