Pistorius trial: Judge Masipa mulls her verdict

Judge Masipa gave herself just over a month to prepare the ruling which is expected to take 2 days to deliver.

Judge Thokozile Masipa will be preparing to hand down arguably the most highly-anticipated verdict of her career tomorrow. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA- Judge Thokozile Masipa will be preparing to hand down arguably the most highly-anticipated verdict of her career tomorrow at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Pistorius shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

The double-amputee says he fired through the door into the toilet cubicle in the mistaken belief he was defending himself from a burglar.

But the state believes he killed her in a fit of rage following an argument.

The 66-year-old former social worker and journalist gave herself just over a month to prepare the ruling which is expected to take two days to deliver. The judge and her two assessors would have spent the past few weeks summarising the evidence of the 37 witnesses who testified over 39 court days and making a finding on each of their credibility.

Its likely Masipa's primary focus will be on Pistorius's testimony.

The athlete gave five days of cross-examination in April under the gaze of the world's media.

James Grant, associate professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand said, "She would have been summarising the evidence and would have been searching for reasonable doubt."

Masipa will also have to make a finding on three gun-related charges as well as whether or not Darren Fresco should be granted indemnity from prosecution.

Pistorius broke down frequently during the trial, often sobbing and vomiting into a bucket.

Steenkamp's dramatic death has shattered the image of Pistorius as an embodiment of triumph over adversity for both his Paralympic victories and his success against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.

PISTORIUS TRIAL STILL MAKING HEADLINES

The trial is still grabbing headlines around the world.

Some editorials have questioned why the trial has received more coverage than former President Nelson Mandela's funeral and why the court proceedings have been compulsive viewing for many.

Many had dubbed it the trial of the century and there's no doubt in the general fascination surrounding the case.

The British Broadcasting Corporation in London has focused on what it considers to be the 10 key moments of the trial including Pistorius's apology, retching in court, the videos and the so called sunroof shooting.

While_ The Guardian_ says the mass shooting shows our insatiable hunger for death._ The Mirror_ analyses the four different options available to the judge and others look at the positives the case may bring, highlighting the importance of gun control and of understanding our relationship with weaponry.

PISTORIUS CASE FAR FROM OVER

William Booth, chairperson of the South African Law Society believes there will still be time spent on the trial as there are legal processes that can be followed once a verdict has been given.

"If Pistorius is acquitted, the state could, on limited circumstances, appeal the verdict. So there are all kinds of legal processes that are still going to follow. I don't think the Oscar case is suddenly going to stop."

Booth said the facts in the case are particularly complex.

"Right at the beginning, Oscar acknowledged that he had fired four shots into a small toilet area, believing that there was an intruder. So a lot of the aspects, in my personal opinion, could have been agreed upon."

He also said that a lot of the defence witnesses seemed to have agreed with a significant portion of the state's evidence by the end of their evidence.

For more on the trial, click here, or visit the live Oscar Pistorius blog, click here.