Why Oscar's family did not attend appeal hearing

2015-11-03 18:03
(Photo: Oscar Pistorius, File AFP)

(Photo: Oscar Pistorius, File AFP)

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Bloemfontein – The family of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius did not attend an appeal against his conviction in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Their spokesperson Anneliese Burgess said one of the reasons for their absence at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) was to ensure that the focus remained on the legal issues.

"It has been the family’s position throughout that the legal process should be allowed to run its course," she said after the SCA reserved judgment.

"The family feels it is inappropriate to comment on this matter while the Appeal Court deliberates."

Reeva Steenkamp’s mother June attended proceedings, but did not speak to reporters.

But she was seen smiling and chatting to State prosecutor Gerrie Nel and members of the ANC Women’s League.

The SCA reserved judgment on Tuesday afternoon after hearing arguments from both sides in the State’s application to appeal Pistorius’s conviction of culpable homicide.

The State argued that the trial court had erred in applying the law, especially with intention, and wanted his conviction to be replaced with that of murder.

Pistorius’s advocate Barry Roux argued that the trial court had not applied the law incorrectly and that his client had fired the shots out of a genuine belief that his life was in danger.

On October 21 last year, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.

He fired four shots through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home, apparently thinking an intruder was hiding behind it.

The double-amputee track star was sentenced to a further three years, suspended for five years, for firing a shot at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  june steenkamp  |  barry roux  |  bloemfontein  |  pistorius trial

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