Pistorius' appeal challenged

  • 26/01/2016
Oscar Pistorius (Reuters)
Oscar Pistorius (Reuters)

Oscar Pistorius' appeal to South Africa's highest court against a murder conviction is "contrived" and "without" merit, prosecutors say.

The Olympian, who shot his girlfriend dead in 2013, appealed on January 11 for the Constitutional Court to overturn his murder conviction.

However, prosecutor Andrea Johnson said in responding papers on Monday that it was not in the interests of justice for the court to hear the case.

"It is our respectful submission that the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) committed no errors of law and that the arguments by the appellant are without merit and contrived," Johnson said.

The Constitutional Court, based in Johannesburg, will have to decide whether there are "constitutional matters" that need to be decided before granting the appeal.

Pistorius, 29, was granted bail by Judge Aubrey Ledwaba on December 8 following his murder conviction.

He is next due in court on April 18, when his legal team will update the judge on the status of his Constitutional Court application.

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

The Supreme Court of Appeals on December 3 found him guilty of murdering her, reversing a 2014 ruling by the high court in Pretoria, which had only found him guilty of culpable homicide.

Pistorius testified that he mistook Steenkamp, 29, for a burglar before he fired four shots through a bathroom door with a pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for the culpable homicide conviction on October 21, 2014, but was released one year later on house arrest.

He is currently fitted with an electronic tag and lives at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria.