Oscar Pistorius

Cape Town - The fact that paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius reached out to the family of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he shot to death in 2013, was proof he felt remorse and regret, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein heard on Friday.

"After the trial he tried to make contact [with the Steenkamp family]. Understandably  they were not ready for him....It would be very unfair to say you don't have remorse or regret," Advocate Barry Roux, for Pistorius argued.

Roux is arguing against the State's application for leave to appeal the six-year sentence handed down to Pistorius in the high court in Pretoria last year.

The state argued Pistorius did not feel remorse as he failed to take the high court into his confidence on why he fired the four shots during his resentencing. He was resentenced after the SCA in December 2015 held that he was indeed guilty of murder and not culpable homicide.

The SCA found that even on Pistorius's version that he thought he was shooting at an intruder, he should have foreseen firing four shots through a bathroom door could have led to a death.


Asked by several judges why Pistorius fired four shots as opposed to one and never offered an explanation why, Roux argued that Pistorius's disability, his anxiety disorder, and him being over-conscious of crime should be taken into context.

"What I'm trying to explain is the state of mind and to say...maybe if I'm able-bodied and don't suffer from anxierty disorder, I would be far more calculated or think better," Roux told the court.

"It was not that he simply got up, walked to the bathroom and fired the shot."

Earlier the State argued Pistorius' anxiety and vulnerability while on his stumps before the shooting should not reduce his blame for murder.

State prosecutor Andrea Johnson argued high court judge Thokozile Masipa did not take into account the brutality of the crime, and the fact that he armed himself with a high calibre weapon and ammunition which was designed to "mushroom on striking a soft target such as human flesh". 

African News Agency