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'Judge Masipa paid lip service to circumstantial evidence'

The state yesterday appealed Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction in the SCA.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel sits in court during hearing as the state pleads its case in trying to challenge Oscar Pistorius's culpable homicide conviction on 3 November 2015. Picture: Pool.

BLOEMFONTEIN - State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has claimed Judge Thokozile Masipa paid mere lip service to the circumstantial evidence against Oscar Pistorius, which should have led to his version being dismissed entirely.

This was among the submissions in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, where the state argued the athlete should be convicted of murder.

Pistorius was released under house arrest last month after serving one year of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Nel argued that Masipa disregarded circumstantial evidence.

"There's nothing further in this judgment indicating that the court either accepted or rejected it. The court ignored it. Our respectful submission is that the court paid lip service to it."

He told Judge Lex Mpati that if considered, it would have left Pistorius without a valid defence.

"If the court took into count all the circumstantial evidence the court would have rejected his version outright."

To which Mpati responded by saying, "So the court would have decided the case on the basis that there is no acceptable evidence from the defence?"

Defence advocate Barry Roux argued that Nel's questions of law, were in fact questions of fact and should therefore be dismissed.

WATCH: SCA judges to decide Pistorius's fate

NEL FINDS MORE FAVOUR WITH THE JUDGES

While the full bench of SCA judges grilled counsel for the state and defence, it appears Nel found more favour with the judges.

Judge Steven Majiedt's questions in relation to case law, which limits the state's right to appeal, echoed Nel's submissions on the matter.

Judge Eric Leach summarised the court's finding that Pistorius could not have foreseen Steenkamp was in the cubicle, because he believed she was in the bathroom.

" That's just a misapplication of what 'dolus eventualis' was. The issue is not whether it was her, the issue was related to the person that was in the cubicle."

It could be weeks or even months before judgment is delivered.

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