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Pistorius now has 8 weeks to avoid 15-year jail term

Pistorius has 8 weeks to prepare his argument before the week of 13 June when he’ll be sentenced for murder.

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria to set down a date for new sentencing procedures following the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius now has eight weeks in which to prepare his argument to avoid a jail term of up to 15 years.

The former athlete made a brief appearance in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday where the matter was postponed until June.

Pistorius was initially convicted of culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013, but this was changed to murder after the state's successful appeal.

It was a scene all too familiar, Pistorius dressed in a smart black suit and black tie with his father Henke and sister Aimee in the public gallery to support him.

It's being reported that Pistorius was hospitalised over the weekend because of a serious bout of flu, however he appeared composed in during the brief proceedings.

The former athlete has entered the final straight, with state and defence legal teams agreeing to hear sentence argument in the week of 13 June.

His final hurdle will be to avoid the minimum 15-year jail term for a murderer, which the state is expected to ask for.

FAULTY DEVICE

Meanwhile, Pistorius's legal team has told the High Court in Pretoria that the tracking device he is fitted with is faulty and falsely warns him that he is in breach of his parole conditions when he is sitting at home.

After proceedings adjourned, Pistorius was escorted to chambers where Correctional Services officials inspected the tracking device he is fitted with.

His defence advocate earlier told the court this is the third device that has been issued to him because they are repeatedly faulty.

She said the device keeps indicating the convicted murderer is in breach of his parole conditions, even while he is at his home.

Pistorius returns to court in June, when sentencing procedures will be heard for a week.

Until then, he will remain under house arrest.

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