'It appeared a desperate attempt', says South African journalist as Pistorius walks on stumps in court

'It appeared as slightly desperate attempt', says South African journalist on Oscar Pistorius walking on stumps in court

Pistorius was trying to win sympathy by walking on his stumps, claims journalist

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oscar Pistorius removed his prosthetic limbs and walked on his stumps in court to show his vulnerability, but South African journalist Ken Borland says "it's a surprise the defence took so long to do it".

The athlete shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times through a bathroom door in 2013, and has been at a hearing in Pretoria after a court convicted him of murder, overturning the original manslaughter verdict. 

The Citizen journalist claims it's quite surprising the defence hadn't asked Pistorius to walk around the court unaided before.

"It appeared to be an attempt to garner sympathy for Oscar, and portray him as a non-aggressive figure, slightly helpless and vulnerable," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"The only surprise is it's taken this long for his defence to do that, because it's took so long it appeared a slightly desperate attempt to tug on the emotions of Judge Masipa."

Pistorius will be sentenced on 6 July, but people have wondered why the proceedings will take so long.

"I'm not sure if she has other cases that's she's involved in, that could be one reason," he added. "I guess she wants to be satisfied that she can apply her mind fully to all the evidence that has been presented before her."

The minimum sentencing should be 15 years, but time can be added or taken away depending on litigating or aggravating circumstances.

"She does seem to be swaying slightly towards his side, and the other thing to take into account is a lot of South Africans live in a real paranoid state of fear. The violent crime figures are horrendous. 

"So someone like Oscar who'd been clearly subscribed to those views would feel vulnerable and again is a disabled person."