Jean-Jacques Cornish

Prosecution loses bid to get an even tougher sentence against Pistorius

The prosecution has lost its bid to have an even tougher jail sentence imposed on disgraced paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius for shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Judge Thokozile Masipa’s  rejected the State’s bid for leave to appeal the six-year jail sentence for murder she eventually  imposed on Pistorius.

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It was Judge Thokozile Masipa who found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide and sent him to jail for five year  years.

The Appeal Court overturned that last December and found the legless athlete guilty of murder – giving rise to the  heavier sentence she imposed.

She pointed out that time that there was not a shred of evidence that Pistorius knew when he was firing through a toilet door that his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was on the other side.

Pistorius’s defence has been that he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

Masipa said in the Pretoria High Court today (Friday) that she’s  not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success for an appeal. She dismissed with costs the application for leave to appeal.

Earlier, Barry Roux, for Pistorius, argued that the State was merely dragging out legal processes and subjecting the former Paralympian to continued uncertainty.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that deviating from the prescribed 15-year minimum sentence for murder induces a sense of shock.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.