THE National Prosecuting Authority has issued an arrest warrant for Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, The Star reported on Friday.
This follows after the NPA said earlier it was trying to bring Pistorius before court urgently for a sentencing date to be set after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa’s judgement of culpable homicide and found him guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp.
The NPA said on Friday it was trying to bring Oscar Pistorius before court urgently for a sentencing date to be set after he was convicted of murder for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
“We are trying to arrange with the Pretoria High Court that he can appear before court where the matter will be formally postponed for sentencing. We are trying to do this as a matter of extreme urgency. If it was up to us it would have happened yesterday already,” NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told ANA.
He said scheduling, both for the initial appearance after his conviction of culpable homicide was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday, and for re-sentencing, depended on the high court’s schedule.
Sentencing would depend specifically on the availability of trial Judge Tholozile Masipa and was only likely to happen next year, Mfaku said.
However, any available judge in the division could handle the initial appearance.
The NPA said Pistorius’s present legal position was a matter of debate as the SCA ruling effectively overturned both the conviction and the sentence handed down by Masipa.
The former Paralympian sprinter was released from prison in October after serving less than a year of the five-year sentence Masipa imposed. Pistorius was to see out the remainder under correctional supervision and is under house arrest at his uncle’s home in Pretoria.
“It is a legally debated issue,” said Mfaku when asked whether the correctional supervision had ceased to have any legal standing the moment the SCA pronounced its verdict on Thursday.
The supreme court found that Masipa had erred on two points of law.
Firstly, she had failed to correctly apply the legal principle of dolus eventualis and should have found that Pistorius had foreseen that he could kill somebody when he fired four shots into a locked toilet door in 2013, fatally injuring his Steenkamp.
Judge Eric Leach said the accused had “gambled with the person’s life” and that it was irrelevant whether he believed it was Steenkamp or an intruder — on his muddled version — behind the door.
“He acted with dolus eventualis,” said Leach, who described the killing as a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
Masipa had therefore been wrong to conclude that since Pistorius did not believe that it was Steenkamp who was behind the door, there was no dolus eventualis — one of the forms of intent requisite for a finding of murder.
The appeal bench also found that Masipa had been wrong to disregard circumstantial evidence, notably that of a police ballistics expert, which indicated that Pistorius had foreseen the fatal consequences of his actions. – ANA