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‘Oscar Pistorius must explain why he fired 4 shots & not 1’

The State has argued that to demonstrate remorse, Oscar Pistorius should have provided an explanation for his actions.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria on 5 March 2014. Picture: Pool

JOHANNESBURG - The State has argued that without a valid explanation from Oscar Pistorius as to why he fired the four shots which killed Reeva Steenkamp, the court cannot accept the claim that he's shown remorse.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to impose a harsher sentence on the former athlete.

The High Court handed him six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend.

Prosecutor Andrea Johnson argued that to demonstrate remorse, Pistorius should have provided an explanation for his actions.

“One of the findings was, after having fired those four shots with a high calibre weapon and little ammunition, there was no explanation and unfortunately, where we are today, we still have no explanation.”

The judges pressed advocate Barry Roux to explain why his client fired the four shots and not just one.

“See it in its proper context who the shots were coming from, were they coming from this person that has so much confidence ... and it was not.”

The State has argued that the High Court failed to list the factors it considered when deviating from imposing the minimum 15-year sentence for murder on Pistorius.

Johnson has argued that the High Court did not provide the substantial and compelling factors it considered when imposing the six-year sentence on the athlete.

“When the court sentenced the respondent, it ignored key material findings of this court’s judgment when this court found the respondent guilty of murder dolus eventualis.”

Roux argued that the High Court correctly considered all the facts in their totality.

He stressed that the court considered that Pistorius was vulnerable and scared and that the sentence was appropriate under the circumstances.

Judgment has been reserved.

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