Third day of Oscar proceedings begin


The third day of sentencing proceedings for paralympian Oscar Pistorius's culpable homicide-conviction began in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued with his cross-examination of social worker and probation officer Annette Vergeer.

Nel asked her if she, as an official from the social development department, was allowed to compile reports privately.

She confirmed this.

He then questioned how she conducted her research on conditions in prisons.

"As an official, certainly you could approach other officials, like in the department of correctional services, to get real facts about conditions [in prisons]... did you for this case?" he asked.

"I spoke to an official in Pretoria," she replied.

In court on Wednesday were Pistorius's siblings Aimee and Carl, father Henke, uncle Arnold, and ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor and her mother Patricia.

Reeva Steenkamp's parents Barry and June, her Johannesburg "family" the Myers and her cousin Kim Martins were also in attendance.

Vergeer presented her report on Pistorius on Tuesday. In the report, which the defence paid her to compile, she recommended that Pistorius --who has been convicted of culpable homicide for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp - be sentenced to three years of correctional supervision and community service.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, Vergeer said she did not believe that the double amputee would be safe or provided with the right facilities for his disability in prison.

On September 12, Judge Thokozile Masipa found the paralympian not guilty of murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on Valentine's Day last year, but convicted him of culpable homicide.

Pistorius has maintained throughout that he shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him.

Masipa also found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public during an incident at a Johannesburg restaurant.


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