NPA denies Pistorius appeal process starting

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court ahead of sentencing. (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court ahead of sentencing. (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority on Sunday denied a report that the appeal against Oscar Pistorius's conviction and sentence will start next month.

"It is not true," spokesperson Nathi Mncube said in an SMS.

He denied a Sunday Times report that State prosecutor Gerrie Nel would discuss the matter with National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana on Monday. Nxasana would reportedly decide whether to appeal.

According to the report, the appeal process was scheduled to start on 3 November.

On Tuesday Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp. For discharging a firearm at Tasha's restaurant in January 2013, he was sentenced to three years' jail, suspended for five years. The sentences would run concurrently, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled.

The NPA said on Tuesday there was an "appetite" to appeal the five-year jail sentence.

"There is an appetite to appeal, and we have 14 days to consider the law and ensure the facts and the law allow us to appeal," Mncube said at the time.

The same day, Nxasana told Parliament he would discuss the Pistorius sentence, and a possible appeal, with prosecutors.

On Friday, Mncube said the NPA had not decided whether it would appeal.

Wits law professor James Grant on Friday wrote on social networking site Twitter that Nel had asked for his advice about an appeal.

"I can confirm advocate Nel has consulted me for advice and assistance if he appeals. I have advised that he should appeal and agreed to assist."

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