Correctional supervision 'shocking' : Nel


The mere suggestion that paralympian Oscar Pistorius be sentenced to three years of correctional supervision is "shocking", the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

"To even suggest three years is shockingly inappropriate in this matter," prosecutor Gerrie Nel told correctional services department social worker Mashaba Joel Maringa during cross-examination.

Maringa had earlier presented a report for the defence that Pistorius get correctional supervision and 16 hours of community service a month for killing Reeva Steenkamp.

During questioning Nel discovered that Maringa had a tenuous grasp of Judge Thokozile Masipa's judgment.

On September 12 Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder.

Masipa found him guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp. The State had argued he killed her during an argument.

Nel put it to Maringa that Pistorius shot four times through the door.

"He fired into the ground," Maringa replied.

"You're totally wrong," Nel told him, indicating that Maringa was referring to the Tasha's shooting.

Nel referred to the judgment that Pistorius armed himself and made his way down the passage to his bathroom with the intention to shoot.

Maringa said he understood that Pistorius had not intended to shoot.

"How can you base your report on a misreading of the judgment? You're wrong," Nel told him.

Defending his report Maringa said correctional supervision was "as harsh as any sentence".

"We are not saying he should be destroyed," he added. The sentence should make the offender a "suitable, responsible citizen".

"Do you have any thought for the family of the deceased? That their lives were destroyed?" Nel asked him.

Maringa said he sympathised with them.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges -- illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.


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