Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Pistorius ‘needs to pay’ for actions

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius should be given “sufficient punishment” for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, her cousin has told the sentencing hearing in Pretoria.

A prison service officer called for Oscar Pistorius to be given an opportunity to reform outside of prison
Oscar Pistorius

Kim Martin said Pistorius, 27, “needs to pay for what he has done”.

He was convicted of culpable homicide last month but cleared of murder and faces up to 15 years in jail, but the judge may suspend it or impose a fine.

Judge Thokozile Masipa later adjourned the court hearing until Friday morning.

The defence has argued that Pistorius should serve house arrest and community service for the killing – a suggestion branded as “shockingly inappropriate” by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

The prosecution insists that Pistorius should go to jail, saying his negligent actions have left a “broken family”.

Correspondents say that because of delays the sentence is unlikely to be announced until next month.

‘Not seeking revenge’

Ms Martin – the prosecution’s first sentencing witness – said on Thursday that she was fearful of Pistorius.

“My family are not people who are seeking revenge, we just feel that to shoot somebody behind a door that is unarmed, that is harmless, needs sufficient punishment,” she said.

On Wednesday, Ms Martin recounted her pain at hearing that the 29-year-old South African model had been shot dead, saying her death was “the end of the world”. BBC