Oscar Pistorius: South Africa’s highest court denies athlete’s murder conviction appeal


Andre Janse van Vuuren

South Africa’s highest court denied Oscar Pistorius leave to appeal his murder conviction for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

The Constitutional Court delivered the decision on Thursday, Luvuyo Mfaku, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, said by phone. Pistorius will appear in court on April 18 to be sentenced, Mfaku said.

The Paralympic gold medallist could face a 15-year jail term for the murder of Steenkamp.

In December, Pistorius’ previous conviction of culpable homicide over the death of his partner was overturned by the Supreme Court, and his sentence was upgraded to murder. He was granted 10,000 rand ($AUD871) bail and ordered to remain under house arrest.

“This is the end of the road for Oscar,” Marius du Toit, a criminal-defense lawyer at Du Toit Attorneys in Pretoria, the capital, said by phone. “The murder conviction will stand and there is nothing that he can do to change that.”

Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for Pistorius, declined to comment.

While Pistorius may receive a lesser sentence, such as 12 years, due to the unique circumstances of the case, he will have to serve at least 75 percent of it before applying for parole, Du Toit said.

Known as the Blade Runner because of his J-shaped prosthetic blades, Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and was the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games. He was born without fibula in both legs, which were amputated when he was 11 months old.



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