Dreams and nightmares
No matter which way you look at it, the future is bleak for Oscar Pistorius, say legal experts.
They say the 29-year-old doubleamputee Olympian faces a 15-year jail term after the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside his culpable homicide conviction and five-year sentence this week.
Criminal law expert Ulrich Roux, who followed Pistorius’ trial from the beginning, said on Friday that “in terms of South African law, the minimum sentence for a murder conviction is 15 years in jail. That is what Pistorius will be facing as he appears in court for sentencing.”
But he cautioned: “Just because the minimum sentence is 15 years, does not necessarily mean the sentence cannot be less than that.”
Amanda Vilakazi, a Joburg attorney who has dealt extensively with criminal matters, agreed with Roux.
“Pistorius can get more, or even fewer, years in jail for his murder conviction.
“If his lawyers can show compelling and substantial circumstances in mitigation of sentence, the judge might deviate from the minimum sentence and give him a sentence below the minimum, according to South African law.
“The judge will probably take into consideration that Pistorius has served part of his term in jail, his future, and the fact that the murder was not premeditated,” said Vilakazi.
– Zinhle Mapumulo