Africa

In quotes: Pistorius sentencing hearing

Oscar Pistorius outside the Pretoria high court, 13 October 2014 Image copyright AFP

A court in South Africa is deciding what sentence to give the athlete Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The court has been hearing from defence witnesses including Pistorius's agent, his psychologist, and a corrections officer. Ms Steenkamp's cousin and the acting correctional services commissioner have both appeared as prosecution witnesses.

Here are the key quotes from the hearings.

Moleko Modise, acting National Commissioner for Correctional Services

Summoned by the prosecution and questioned by the defence

Image copyright Getty Images

"We have facilities that will cater for his disability. There should be no doubt in the minds of South Africans that Mr Pistorius or any other person with disabilities should be accommodated."

"I can assure the court that he will go to the hospital section. It is common knowledge that Mr Pistorius is a paraplegic."


Kim Martin, Reeva Steenkamp's cousin

Summoned by the prosecution and questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"Reeva was the first baby that I ever held... I was so nervous and I was scared that I would drop her... I held her in my arms and I remember she didn't even cry... There was a very strong bond from a young age."

"My husband and myself were driving to work... The radio DJ came on. And he said, 'breaking news, not confirmed'... And then he said 'Oscar Pistorius'... And I froze and the next words were 'Allegedly shot his girlfriend'. And I remember saying to my husband, 'I hope to God he is cheating on Reeva.'"

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Steenkamp's parents (2nd and 3rd from left) said they dismissed an offer of 'blood money' from Pistorius

"They hadn't confirmed the name, they said his girlfriend... I was trying to phone [Reeva] and she wasn't answering and I was screaming at my husband."

"The doors opened and my mother was hysterical and that's when I knew it was true... That was for me the end of the world. Everything was just a blur from then onwards."

"Mr Pistorius needs to pay for what he has done, for taking Reeva's life, for what he's done to my uncle, to my aunt and the rest of my family. My family are not people who are seeking revenge, we just feel that to take someone's life, to shoot somebody behind a door, that is unarmed, that is harmless, needs sufficient punishment."


Annette Vergeer, social worker

Called by the defence and questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"[Prison] will not assist [Pistorius] but will break him as a person. The exposure of the accused on his stumps to inmates will have a severe effect on him."

"There is also no facility to cater for the accused's disability. He cannot shower by walking and standing on the cement floors on his stumps."

"I've recently done a case for rape within the prison, gang-rape, how can we say that he won't be exposed to that?"


Peet van Zyl, Pistorius's agent

Called by the defence and questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"I think that a lot of sportsmen actually really want to make a difference and contribute..."

"The legacy that he's left behind is still relevant today."


Image copyright AP
Image caption Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has subjected several witnesses to aggressive questioning

Joel Maringa, correctional services worker

Called by the defence and questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"The accused would benefit from correctional supervision as a sentence option. He will get an opportunity to restructure and modify his offending behaviour within the community context."

"Not only retribution is considered when sentencing, we are also looking at the issue of reforming the accused in the interest of society as well... for the wrong that he has done, he will be compensating society by doing community service."


Lore Hartzenberg, Pistorius's psychologist

Called by the defence and questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel

"[Pistorius] was very emotional.... we could not conduct some of the sessions. Some of the sessions were just him weeping and crying and me holding him."

"It is foreseen that Mr Pistorius will require intensive and ongoing psychotherapy. We are left with a broken man who has lost everything."

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