Judge Thokozile Masipa is due to announce if Oscar Pistorius is guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The judge cleared Oscar Pistorius of murder on September 11, saying the prosecution had failed to prove he intended to kill the model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day of 2013.
However, she said Oscar Pistorius’ conduct on the night in question had been negligent.
Oscar Pistorius, 27, admits firing through a toilet door at his home but says he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder.
Prompting tears from the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, Judge Thokozile Masipa said he could not have foreseen killing whoever was behind the door – but went on to say that he had acted hastily and with excessive force.
She described his actions as negligent.
Correspondents at Oscar Pistorius’ trial said the judge appeared to be leaning towards the lesser charge of manslaughter, known in South Africa as culpable homicide, when she adjourned unexpectedly for the day.
The charge of culpable homicide implies negligence without intention to kill and could still mean a jail sentence of up to 15 years. Legal experts suggest seven to 10 years is more likely.
The double amputee had denied murdering Reeva Steenkamp after a row on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.
Oscar Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.
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