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Roux: Pistorius was not driven by evil intent

Pistorius’s legal team has compared his case to Bok Visagie, who accidentally shot his daughter.

Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius arrives for the third day of sentencing arguments in his murder trial on 15 June 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius's legal team has compared his case to that of former Springbok rugby player Rudi 'Vleis' Visagie, who accidentally shot his daughter in 2004.

Advocate Barry Roux says Pistorius's case is one of mistaken identity and this must be considered when sentencing him.

Pistorius will be sentenced again for murder after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned his culpable homicide conviction for the 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Roux has argued that even the SCA confirmed that Pistorius did not intend to kill Steenkamp.

Roux says the court found that it was dolus eventualis and has emphasised that Pistorius was not driven by evil intent.

He has compared this case to that of Visagie, who accidentally shot his daughter, thinking she was a thief.

"It was murder dolus eventualis, but everyone sympathised with him because they understood and he was not prosecuted. There's a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to say it was not right to prosecute him - that it was inappropriate. And I agree. But that is not the point I am making. I am not asking for a non-prosecution, but everyone understood that you can make a mistake."

Earlier, Pistorius sobbed with his head buried in his hands as Roux explained how he acted out of fear on the night he killed his girlfriend.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

Pistorius's defence team has argued that the circumstances which the court should consider when handing down sentence have not changed from those accepted by the trial court.

The parties have started delivering their closing arguments after the State called its last witness earlier.

Roux stressed that the SCA did not dispute the findings that Pistorius genuinely believed there was an intruder in his house, and he was trying to protect himself.

He says the trial court's finding that Pistorius believed that Steenkamp was in the bedroom at the time of the shooting remains undisturbed.

Roux has reiterated the SCA's finding that the trial court failed to find that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp.

The advocate told the court that his client has accepted that he fired the shots intentionally.

He says Pistorius has paid for his crime in every respect, and is a broken man.

WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN OSCAR AND REEVA?

On Valentine's Day, 14 February 2013, Reeva was shot dead in Pistorius's home.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

He claimed he thought she was an intruder when he fired four shots into a bathroom door.

A year later, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and handed a sentence of five years in prison by Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal convicted Pistorius of murder following an appeal by the NPA.

Now, after spending less than a year behind bars, and the rest of the time under house arrest, Pistorius, now convicted of murder, must be sentenced again.

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