All eyes on SCA for Oscar Pistorius ruling

The ruling on the State’s appeal on Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction will be handed down today.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius is greeted by his father Henke at the High Court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

BLOEMFONTEIN - World media focus is once again directed at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, where the ruling in the Oscar Pistorius matter will be handed down today.

The state appealed the athlete's culpable homicide conviction, arguing that he should have been convicted of murder.

Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day two years, saying he believed she was an intruder.

The former paralympian was released from prison to serve out the remainder of his five year sentence at home.

Pistorius's family says they will not be in court today to hear whether or not it believes the athlete is guilty of murder.

It's understood prosecutor Gerrie Nel will also not attend proceedings.

However Nel's junior Advocate Andria Johnson, will represent the State.

The State appealed Pistorius's homicide conviction on the grounds that it believed Judge Thokozile Masipa incorrectly applied the legal principles to the facts.

It has further argued that the judge didn't properly consider all the circumstantial evidence.

The athlete's defence team argued that Masipa got it right and that the appeal should be dismissed.


Today's SCA ruling in the Pistorius murder case has been described as "crucially important" for the criminal law and the law of evidence.

One of the main legal aspects expected to feature in today's much-anticipated judgment is "dolus eventualis" - the concept of foreseeing the consequences of one's actions.

The state appealed the athlete's culpable homicide conviction, arguing that he should have been convicted of murder instead.

This judgment is expected to clarify numerous legal issues.

These range from how circumstantial evidence is dealt - to the now well-known principle of dolus eventualis.

Today's judgment will become binding on high courts and lower courts across the country.

The state argued that Judge Masipa incorrectly applied the legal principle of dolus eventualis to the facts of the case.

State Prosecutor Nel told the court that firing four shots through the locked toilet met the requirement for the murder conviction.

Defence advocate Barry Roux countered saying that Masipa had in fact got it right, and that Nel was attempting to introduce questions of law which were in fact questions of fact.

Judge Eric leach, who rigorously questioned roux during argument, is expected to hand down the ruling.

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