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Fourth day of Oscar Pistorius proceedings begin

The fourth day of sentencing proceedings for paralympian Oscar Pistorius's culpable homicide-conviction began in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel started proceedings by wishing Judge Thokozile Masipa well on her birthday.

“We wish you many more blessed birthdays in the future,” he told her.

Masipa said: “Thank you very much.”

He then continued with his questioning of Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin Kim Martin, asking her about Pistorius’s public apology.

“I did not feel that the apology was genuine. I remember crying and it made me realise… why we are here,” she said.

“It did not seem sincere.”

She said she was fearful of Pistorius.

“I tried really hard to put him out of my mind. We even made a point to not mention his name in our house because we didn’t want to spend any energy thinking of him.

“I really believe he needs to pay for what he done.”

In court on Thursday were Pistorius’s siblings Aimee and Carl, father Henke, uncle Arnold, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor and her mother Patricia, Steenkamp’s parents Barry and June and her Johannesburg “family” the Myers.

Also in attendance were former soccer player Marc Batchelor and businessman Jared Mortimer.

In July, while his trial was still under way, Pistorius had an altercation with Mortimer at the VIP Room club in the Michelangelo Towers in Sandton, Johannesburg.

At the time, the Pistorius family released a media statement saying Mortimer “aggressively interrogated him” on matters relating to murder trial.

Mortimer told a newspaper that Pistorius insulted President Jacob Zuma’s family and his own friends, resulting in the altercation.

Batchelor and Pistorius also had a confrontation where the paralympian allegedly threatened to break Batchelor’s legs, and Batchelor made threats in return.

This was after Pistorius found out his girlfriend at the time had been allegedly cheating on him with Batchelor’s friend, coal mining millionaire and TV producer Quinton van der Burgh.

On September 12 Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder. Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp. The State had argued he killed her during an argument.

Masipa also found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when a shot went off as he held his friend Darren Fresco’s Glock pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges – illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.

– Sapa

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