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Pistorius trial: Nel pushes for 10-year sentence

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel says Pistorius is not the victim and called for a minimum sentence of 10 years.

Oscar Pistorius. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Forty eight days of gruelling testimony have finally ended with the fate of Oscar Pistorius now in the hands of Judge Thokozile Masipa who has more than 72 hours to decide on whether he should go to prison.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, saying he believed she was an intruder.

Almost 40 witnesses were called in the trial, which saw experts, neighbours and Pistorius take the stand to convince the Masipa that their version of what happened was correct.

The counsel for the defence and prosecution then summed up months of testimony, highlighting the main points of argument with regards to sentence after Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide.

Defence advocate Barry Roux says Pistorius has unconditionally accepted the court's judgment.

"I can place on record, that there is an absolute acceptance of by the accused of the judgement. It's on that argument we choose mitigation."

He says locking up Pistorius in a prison hospital will serve no purpose.

"Putting him with people suffering from ailments for how long? It can never be a suitable punishment."

But state prosecutor Gerrie Nel hit back, explaining what Reeva Steenkamp's parents have been through.

"There could be nothing worse than to be home and hear that your child died a violent death."

Nel says Pistorius is not the victim and called for a minimum sentence of 10 years.

"To say to this court to please take into account that this man was victimised because the whole world heard all his versions is not a good argument."

There was a great deal at stake for both the prosecution and defence and that was evident in the tone of their arguments.

Roux spoke about how Pistorius spent the last 18 months being denigrated and ridiculed, how he was absolutely exposed to the world and how he has lost everything.

He appealed to the judge to give him a humane sentence in line with Ubuntu and restorative justice.

Nel, on the other hand, was sarcastically dismissive of the defence's victim argument, saying Pistorius must take responsibility for shooting his girlfriend.

Click here to view the state's closing argument.

Click here to view the defence's closing argument.