State will struggle with Pistorius appeal – defence lawyer
06 July 2016, 17:58
Cape Town - A legal expert has told News24 that the State
will have a tough time getting the Supreme Court of Appeal to reconsider Judge
Thokozile Masipa's six-year sentence handed down to convicted murderer Oscar
Attorney Marius du Toit, who has his own practice and has
also served as both a magistrate and a prosecutor, said he had expected the
sentence to be a little bit heavier, but that the final sentence was not an
"I expected 10 years," Du Toit told News24 on
"My immediate feeling was that it was a lenient
sentence, but not a wrong sentence.
"It’s going to be tough for the State to succeed on
appeal against the sentence, purely because I think Judge Masipa really gave a
good judgment. I thought she dealt with everything.
"Of course, the judgment was very favourable to Oscar,
but I think it’s going to be tough to first get past her to apply for leave to
appeal, but also for the SCA to find a prospect of success on appeal.
"I think we’ve reached the end of the matter."
'Judge has great sympathy for the man'
Du Toit said that during the course of the sentencing, he
could see that Masipa was heading toward a "defence-favourable"
"What I mean is that it was a judgment where you could
clearly see it was heading toward a less stringent sentence. Everything she was
saying, she was refusing certain things.
"She made the point that the public perception was
wrong; she made the point that there was remorse.
"So when she handed down six years, I thought it was a
lenient sentence, but I don’t think it was a wrong sentence.
"She really has great sympathy for the man."
- Read more: Oscar Pistorius timeline
Du Toit also said that Pistorius faces a minimum of 50% of
his sentence in prison, given the judgment, which equates to a minimum of three
"After 50%, he becomes eligible for parole. Not that he
will get it, but it means he can be considered.”