A 66 year-year old black woman judge is about deliver the most highly anticipated verdict in South African history in the murder trial of Paralympic Oscar Pistorius.
Authorities in Pretoria say everything’s in place for Judge Thokozile Masipa to present her judgment without delay or interruption. It will probably take today (Thursday) and tomorrow to complete.
The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has gripped the world as much as it has South Africa over its 39 court days this past six months.
Former social worker and journalist Judge Thokozile Masipa’s taken more than month to consider the evidence of 37 witnesses, including Pistorius himself who wept several times and vomited into a bucket during proceedings.
He maintains his fatally shooting his lover Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year through a bathroom door was a tragic error because he feared she was an intruder.
The state contends he killed her deliberately after a blazing row.
The trial has been broadcast live on television with journalists and the families and friends of Pistorius and Steenkamp packed into the court and filling an overflow room.
Both defence and prosecution have worked assiduously at dismantling their opponents’ cases.
It will be for Masipa to say whether she’s found any reasonable doubt allowing Pistorius to escape the charge of premeditated murder and whether he’s guilty of a lesser charge of murder or even culpable homicide.