Pistorius defence wants state's appeal dismissed

The athlete's lawyers filed their opposing papers today ahead of the leave to appeal application.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius waits in the dock at the High Court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - Oscar Pistorius's defence team has argued that the state's application to have his culpable homicide conviction reviewed should be dismissed with costs.

The athlete's lawyers filed their opposing papers today ahead of the leave to appeal application set down for next month.

Pistorius is serving a five-year prison term for the negligent killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

The state failed to convince Judge Thokozile Masipa that he intended to kill when he fired shots through a locked toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home and he was found guilty of culpable homicide in September.

The double amputee's defence team says that Judge Masipa's finding that he did not shoot with the intention to kill anyone, let alone Steenkamp, was one of fact.

The defence then refers to the Criminal Procedure Act which stipulates that the state may only appeal on matters of law and not on matters of fact.

The state argued in its papers that Masipa incorrectly applied the legal principle of dolus eventualis which Pistorius's team says was applied properly.

Last week, the Correctional Services Department dismissed reports that Pistorius wouldn't be eligible for correctional supervision because an electronic device couldn't be fitted to his prosthetic legs.

British tabloid newspapers falsely claimed that South African law required such monitoring devices to be fitted to a person's ankle, which precluded the former athlete as a house arrest candidate.

The department cited provisions in the legislation, which state electronic monitoring devices may be fitted to a person's ankle or wrist provided it does not cause a risk to the person's health.

The department said, in terms of the regulation, monitoring devices must be compact, unobtrusive and allow the person to carry out their normal daily activities.