Pistorius ruling to be put to the test

The NPA says the merit of its application will emerge once they file papers for leave to appeal the finding.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius during his sentencing at the High Court in Pretoria on, 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - The law professor who advised Gerrie Nel and his team on whether to appeal the Oscar Pistorius conviction has welcomed the news that Judge Thokozile Masipa's ruling will now be put to the legal test.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday announced it will appeal both the culpable homicide conviction and sentence in the high-profile trial.

The Blade Runner was convicted of culpable homicide last month for the Valentine's Day 2013 shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He was sentenced to five years imprisonment last week.

In a statement, the NPA says it will appeal Pistorius's culpable homicide conviction on points of law, seeking to secure a murder conviction instead.

The authority says the merit of its application will emerge once they file papers for leave to appeal Masipa's finding which is expected to happen in the next few days.

While some legal experts found the judge made the correct decision, she has however been criticised for not applying the law correctly, with many of the opinion that Pistorius should have been found guilty of murder dolus eventualis or legal intent.

University of the Witwatersrand professor James Grant says the confusion around several key legal principles that featured in the trial must be cleared up.

Grant says the understanding and application of dolus eventualis desperately needs to be reformulated.

"In its current form, it's impossible for courts to come to arbitrary decisions and views on whether a person had the intention to kill or not."

Pistorius's uncle Arnold Pistorius has noted the NPA's announcement, saying the legal process must now take its course.