The South African Constitutional Court has ruled that Oscar Pistorius is denied leave to appeal against his conviction for murdering Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
The verdict was upgraded from culpable homicide to murder on 3 December 2015, when the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Judge Thokozile Masipa and her lower court had not correctly applied the rule of dolus eventualis (determining whether the South African athlete had know that his actions could result in a death).
Justice Eric Leach said at the time that Pistorius, armed with a high-calibre weapon, must have known that whoever was behind the door might be killed when he fired four times through a locked toilet door at his residence. Pistorius claims he thought it was an intruder he was shooting.
According to SA’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) today, the Constitutional Court could find “no prospect of success” in the athlete’s appeal against the murder conviction.
Today’s ruling means that the former Olympic and Paralympic star, once beloved by people around the world, will now be sentenced for murder on 18 April 2016.
And interestingly, the case now returns to Judge Masipa for the sentencing. According to reports, the NPA has made it clear they would like a sentence of at least 15 years in jail.
Until then Pistorius lives under house arrest at his uncle’s home in Pretoria.
SAPeople follower Alexis De La Roux, summed up the feelings of many in the nation when she reacted on Facebook, saying: “I am glad that justice will be served but there is no joy to be had in any of this. A vibrant young woman has lost her life and a young man has destroyed his own.”