Oscar Pistorius broke down in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday as his lawyer told the court that the athlete never considered that it was his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp behind the toilet door.
“He never ever, not once even considered that it was Miss Steenkamp behind that door,” Barry Roux, SC for Pistorius said in closing arguments of sentencing.
Roux said Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder shortly after and the media “assisted” and spread theories.
He said the accused became the victim.
“How he crushed her head with a cricket bat, how he murdered her because he was taking steroids, how he took acting lessons…that is what he was subjected to,” Roux said as Pistorius shook as he cried.
“Never have I seen such an unfair attack.”
He said Pistorius acted negligently when he shot four shots into the door but that his frame of mind should be taken into account because it was a “compromised person” acting.
Roux said that the spirit of Ubuntu should be taken into account when sentencing the athlete.
He said the basic principle of Ubuntu was to do something good in society, coupled with an apology, to pay back society and the victim.
The test for sentencing should be what is in the interest of society, Roux said.
He said Pistorius’s emotions were not in dispute.
“Those extreme emotions suffered by the accused are not in dispute.”
Roux said Pistorius lost everything.
“My Lady, that is what is happening, he lost everything, this man was a global icon. He has nothing left, he can’t even pay his legal fees.”
On 12 September, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for the Valentine’s Day 2013, shooting of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse. The court found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.
Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.
Pistorius was found guilty of firing a pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013.
He was found not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein on 30 September 2012, and of illegal possession of ammunition.
– SAPA — NEWS 24