Pistorius: 'I would expect an appeal this afternoon', says South African journalist

'I would expect an appeal this afternoon', says South African journalist on Oscar Pistorius sentencing

Surprise has been expressed at the length of former Paralympian Pistorius' sentence

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced for six years in prison for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, and South African journalist Jason Humphries believes this will be appealed by the state.

The athlete shot his then-girlfriend Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door in 2013. He originally received a five-year conviction for manslaughter, but an appeal turned that verdict over to murder in December.

During one court trial, his defence asked him to walk around the court on his stumps, showing his vulnerability.

"The general consensus was that he'd get eight to ten years," Humphries told Julia Hartley-Brewer.  

"There are some mitigating factors in the case, but the judge felt the mitigating actors outweighted the aggravating factors.

"[Vulnerability has] been his defence all the way through – that due to his disabilities he was always more nervous than a normal person would be.

"Not surprisingly Oscar's defence team are quite happy with the sentence, they will not be appealing, but I think it's almost certain that the state will appeal the sentence.

"The case will go back to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which was the institution which found Oscar guilty of murder, not manslaughter.

"I would expect an appeal this afternoon some time."

Many feel the sentence is not long enough.

"Public opinion in South Africa was much like the rest of the world – people were shocked that he only got a manslaughter charge," he added.

"The ANC Women’s League who has supported the Steenkamp family, released a statement just recently and described the sentence as an insult.

"A television producer was robbed of his phone, and those perpetrators received 15 years. So it does show the huge disparity between wealth and prior defendants, and also raises the question of different justices for people of different colour."