Oscar Pistorius

Pretoria - The nail biting over whether he will receive a harsher sentence should be soon over for Oscar Pistorius, as the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein is expected to deliver its judgment on the issue on Friday.

This is exactly three weeks after the prosecution argued its case before the SCA, calling for a harsher sentence than the six year jail term which Oscar is serving at present.

The five judge team will first have to rule on whether it will grant the State leave to appeal against what the prosecution deemed “a shockingly lenient sentence”.  

Trial Judge Thokozile Masipa earlier refused the State’s application for leave to appeal, but the team directly applied for this earlier this month, together with its application to appeal the sentence.

If the SCA refused leave to appeal, it would be the end of the matter. If it did give the State the green light in this regard, it will pronounce on whether the appeal succeeded or not.

In the case of the five judges ruling in favour of the State, it has the discretion to either refer the matter back to Judge Masipa to yet again sentence Oscar afresh, or it can use its discretion and order a sentence which the SCA deemed fit.

The Justices posed many questions after head of the prosecution team, Andrea Johnson, opened her arguments by saying that that Judge Masipa erred in sentencing Oscar to a six-year-jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Justice Ronnie Bosielo, who led the team, repeatedly questioned " Where did she err?".

ALSO READ: Did Oscar show remorse? That was the big question in SCA

Oscar’s advocate, Barry Roux, however, faced a lot more questions from the bench regarding the events of that morning when Reeva was shot. 

Roux argued that one must understand that Oscar was vulnerable at the time as he did not wear his prostheses and that he feared crime.

The judges repeatedly wanted to know why Oscar did not play open cards with the court, especially after he was convicted of murder.

"Why did he not then take the stand and explain what happened? Why did he not explain the four shots,"  they wanted to know.

Following the arguments on November 3, judgment was reserved, as Judge Bosielo commented that these were complex issues on which they had to deliberate.

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