NPA to get permission to appeal Oscar Pistorius sentence

The NPA will need to get permission from Judge Thokozile Masipa before appealing her ruling.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius during his bail hearing case in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 19 August 2013, Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home on Valentine’s Day. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN

PRETORIA - The law professor, who advised state prosecutor Gerrie Nel and his team on whether to appeal the Oscar Pistorius conviction, says this will hopefully clear up confusion on a problematic legal principal in South African law.

The National Prosecuting Authority yesterday announced it will appeal both the culpable homicide conviction and sentence in the high profile trial.

Last week, Pistorius was sent to serve a five year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

Wits professor James Grant says prosecutors will first need permission from Judge Thokozile Masipa to appeal her ruling.

"She will have to ask whether it's reasonably possible if another court will arrive at a different view."

Grant says the state will challenge the conviction on two main points.

"Firstly definition and formulation of dolus eventualis, and the stance that our law takes in respect of problem if error in objector, where you mistaken as to the object of your shot."

Pistorius's uncle Arnold says the legal process must now take its course.