SABC News - Judge Masipa ignored vital evidence: Nel :Tuesday 3 November 2015

Judge Masipa ignored vital evidence: Nel

Tuesday 3 November 2015 11:35

Noma Bolani

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel says Judge Thokozile Masipa ignored the vital evidence from ballistics expert, Chris Mangena.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel says Judge Thokozile Masipa ignored the vital evidence from ballistics expert, Chris Mangena. (SABC)

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has raised its concern that the High Court in Pretoria did not take into account circumstantial evidence when handing down Oscar Pistorius's culpable homicide conviction.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa ignored the vital evidence of ballistics expert, Chris Mangena. He argued that Masipa erred in the application of the law when dealing with the circumstantial evidence in the trial.

The judges, however, questioned the relevance of one of the case laws Nel based his arguments on. Nel conceded that the particular case was outdated. Nel quickly moved on to highlight the trial court's disregard of the circumstantial evidence.

Justice Steven Majiedt expressed concern over how Judge Masipa overlooked Mangena’s testimony, who she regarded as a reliable credible witness, but could accept the evidence of Pistorius whom she found as unreliable.

Mangena found that from the bullet hole angles, the shooter had intended to harm or kill the target behind the door. Circumstantial evidence plays an integral role in a case where no witnesses were present at the incident.

Pistorius, freed on parole last month after serving a fifth of his prison term for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, faces more years in jail if State lawyers can get his conviction scaled up to culpable homicide from murder.

Prosecutors are arguing before the Supreme Court that Masipa was wrong to let Pistorius off the more serious charge after he fired four shots through a door on Valentine's Day 2013, killing Steenkamp.

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