Pretoria – Oscar Pistorius is expected to hear his sentence for murdering Reeva Steenkamp when he appears in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
His disability and the year he has already spent in jail would be among the factors Judge Thokozile Masipa could use to justify deviating from the minimum of 15 years for murder, a lawyer not involved in the case said on Tuesday.
“My gut feeling is that he’ll get 10 years,” advocate Marius du Toit said.
On December 3 last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered that the former paralympic athlete be sentenced afresh, after it overturned Masipa’s finding that he was guilty of culpable homicide. It replaced her verdict with one of murder.
During sentencing proceedings in June, prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Masipa to send Pistorius to jail for a minimum of 15 years as he intentionally killed Steenkamp.
He said Pistorius had still not shown remorse for murdering the model and law graduate on February 14, 2013. He had failed to take the court into his confidence and reveal his reasons for firing the four shots that killed her. Instead he gave an interview to broadcaster ITV. Nel said this was disrespectful to the court and to the Steenkamps.
Barry Roux, for Pistorius, said he was a vulnerable man with an anxiety disorder, and was 1.50m tall on his stumps. Pistorius confronted what he believed was an intruder hiding in his bathroom, in the dark, at 03:00 that day in February, Roux said on June 15. He was still portrayed as a gold-medal winner; a strong, ambitions man who was 1.84m tall. “That perception perfectly attaches to the I-wanted-to-kill theory.”
Masipa also ruled that six photos of Steenkamp taken at the scene of the crime could be published. Nel made the request, following Barry Steenkamp’s testimony that he wanted the world to see what Pistorius did to his daughter. He said he hoped it would prevent similar crimes.