Oscar Pistorius chats to his uncle Arnold ahead of the verdict in his trial at the high court in Pretoria. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko
Oscar Pistorius chats to his uncle Arnold ahead of the verdict in his trial at the high court in Pretoria. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar acquitted of first firearm charge

By Time of article published Sep 12, 2014

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Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius has been acquitted on one of the charges of discharging a firearm in public.

“The State has failed to establish that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt on this count and has to be acquitted,” said Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

The State alleges that on September 30, 2012 Pistorius allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with his friend Darren Fresco and his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor in Modderfontein.

The Paralympian also faces two other charges of contravening the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and another of discharging a firearm in public. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

Judge Masipa found Pistorius guilty of discharging the firearm in the restaurant.

She ruled that the State has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius had contravened the firearms act when he fired the shot in the restaurant.

“He should not therefore have asked for a firearm in a public place… ”

Pistorius was acquitted of a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

Count 4 relates to the illegal possession of ammunition after the police found .38 ammunition in the safe of Pistorius's home after the shooting in which his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

Masipa said the State had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“He therefore cannot be found guilty on this count,” she said.

On Thursday, Masipa acquitted Pistorius of murder finding that the evidence with regard to the charge was “purely circumstantial”.

However, she said Pistorius was negligent when he fired four shots into a toilet cubicle that killed Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.

Pistorius, 27, said he thought an intruder was behind the door of the toilet in his Pretoria home when he shot through it.

The State argued the murder was premeditated.

Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, and to the three firearm-related charges.

Sapa

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