Can Oscar appeal SCA murder conviction?


Mbuyiseli Madlanga, SC, has been appointed a Constitutional Court judge.

JOHANNESBURG – The family of Oscar Pistorius said on Thursday afternoon they would study the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal converting the paralympian’s conviction from culpable homicide to murder.

Judge Chris Leach read out the court&39;s judgment in Bloemfontein on Thursday morning.

The athlete’s model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp died on 14 February 2013 after he shot her four times.

Pistorius now faces a possible 15 years in prison as a fresh sentence will be handed down by a high court in Gauteng in early 2016.

Legal experts say it will be difficult for Pistorius’s legal counsel to appeal the murder conviction at the Constitutional Court because they will need to show that his constitutional right to a fair trial was infringed on.

Defence attorney Tyrone Maseko said there may be an argument that he didn&39;t receive a fair trial because of all the media attention.

In February 2014 Judge President of the Gauteng High Court Dustan Mlambo ruled that the trial audio and selected video could be televised in the interests of open justice and the court proceedings not being restricted to people with Twitter.

Pistorius did have the option to for his testimony not to be broadcast but he permitted it.

Criminal defence attorney Ulrich Roux said that because Pistorius didn’t object to the audio of his testimony being broadcast it will be difficult to prove that he didn’t receive a fair trial.

“I don’t think in my opinion his rights were infringed on at all but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an application,” said Roux.

The courts will have to consider if there is merit, he said.