Oscar Pistorius: Defence to call fourth witness

As Pistorius’s defence steps up its argument that he’s suffered enough, a fourth witness will take the stand.

Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court after the first day of sentencing arguments in his murder trial. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA - A fourth witness is expected to be called in the Oscar Pistorius case, as the defence steps up its argument that the blade runner has been punished enough and shouldn't go to prison.

On Monday, Pistorius's manager Peet van Zyl described his client's global icon status and impending endorsement and sponsorship fortune, which were all lost after he shot Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide last month for the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting.

Pistorius has maintained that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

Van Zyl says by February last year, Pistorius had signed multimillion dollar contracts with the likes of Nike and Oakley until his retirement in 2017.

"We had concluded most of his current sponsorship endorsements where new contracts had been secured for the next five years."

Van Zyl says these deals are no more.

"Most of the companies were waiting for the verdict and once the verdict was passed we received official notification that all contracts had been terminated. "

The agent described his client as a deeply caring and considerate man, who contributed immensely to causes for people with disabilities.

But Prosecutor Gerrie Nel disagreed, saying t he athlete should be punished for his negligence.

"If somebody is grossly negligent and somebody in the blink of a moment committed a crime the sentence between the two should be different. Gross negligence should be different."

Van Zyl says Pistorius is a selfless man who gave up his time and money to support others.

"I have yet to meet a more accommodating person, a more humble person that will always go out of his way to make other people feel at ease."

Nel says Pistorius used charities as a marketing tool and to further his career.

"So the fact is that it's merely an advancement of your career to become involved. I think that a lot of sportsmen actually really want to make a difference and contribute. But as a bonus, as a flipside, it really advances their careers and marketability."

The defence is expected to round off its arguments in mitigation of sentence today.

The state will then have an opportunity to argue in aggravation.

To make his case, Nel will likely focus on the impact of the athlete's actions on Reeva's friends and family.

He could call one of the model's friends to testify, like former housemate Gina Myers.

The prosecution is also likely to ask the court to sentence the Paralympic superstar to the maximum possible time behind bars.

Click here for more on Oscar Pistorius.

Follow the court proceedings live on EWN's Oscar Pistorius trial blog.