Jean-Jacques Cornish

Jail term for Oscar Pistorius is more than doubled

The family of model Reeva Steenkamp are happy that disgraced paralympic Oscar Pistorius jail sentence for killing her in 2013 has been more than double.

The Appeal Court has handed down the mandatory 15 years for murder in South Africa.

With time served, Pistorius has been jailed for 13 years and five months.

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry say that justice has been served by the heavier sentence handed down to her murderer

They add that the can now get on with their lives.

However, the drama does not necessarily end here.

Pistorius could petition the Constitutional Court to review the Appeal Court decision.

Gerrie Nel, the aggressive prosecutor nicknamed the Rottweiler , says the tougher sentence has affirmed his faith in South Africa’s justice system.

Nel, who now prepares private prosecutions for a rightwing pressure group, brought the appeal saying the six year sentence handed down to Pistorius was shockingly lenient.

Appeal Court judge Willie Seriti agreed.

The full bench of judges found the trial judge Thokozile Masipa  had taken too much account  of Pistorius’s disability and had erred in believing that fear of an intruder had provoked him to fire four shots through a bathroom door killing Steenkamp.

Her original verdict of manslaughter was overturned by the Appeal Court in 2015.  Ordered to impose a sentence for murder, she found substantial and compelling reasons to hand down a sentence of six years.

Seriti said Pistorius had failed to use an opportunity in court to explain his actions and wasnot remorseful.

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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.