ConCourt rejects Pistorius appeal bid
Publish date: 16 April 2018
Issue Number: 769
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application by former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to appeal his 13-year sentence for murder, says a News24 report. ‘The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and leave to appeal. It has concluded that the application for condonation should be granted but that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed as it does not engage this court’s jurisdiction,’ the court said in an order dated 28 March. The Supreme Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 13 years and five months in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was originally convicted of culpable homicide in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) in 2014, notes Legalbrief. The SCA upgraded his conviction to murder in 2015, and the matter returned to the High Court, which sentenced Pistorius to six years’ imprisonment in July 2016. The National Prosecuting Authority challenged the trial court’s sentence on appeal at the SCA, which increased the sentence.
The NPA welcomed the decision, with spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku noting Pistorius had finally reached ‘the end of the road’. According to a second News24 report, Tania Koen, the Steenkamp's family lawyer, said Reeva's parents had ‘always had faith in the justice system’. ‘June and Barry have been focusing their time and energy in the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation which was established in her memory,’ Koen said. Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the locked door of his bedroom toilet, later saying he thought she was an intruder.