Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

South Africa’s highest court has rejected Oscar Pistorius’s right to appeal against his conviction for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Constitutional Court ruled the Paralympian had no reasonable grounds of success with his legal fight.
Pistorius now faces a possible minimum 15-year jail sentence after he was convicted of deliberately gunning down his lover on Valentine’s Day three years ago.

The athlete has been on bail since December when the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found him guilty of murder after overturning his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Pistorius’s lawyers had applied for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa, arguing that the SCA had ‘acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally’.

But the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which opposed the application, said today that the appeal attempt had failed.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said: ‘The court dismissed the application for leave to appeal because there are are no prospects of success.’

Mfaku said the court’s decision had been made on Wednesday.

Defence lawyer Andrew Fawcett confirmed the court’s decision and said: ‘We’ll proceed to the sentencing.’
Pistorius, 29, is due to attend a sentencing hearing on April 18.

He was last seen in public at his bail hearing on December 8 in Pretoria High Court, after which he was fitted with an electronic monitoring tag.

Under his bail conditions, he is allowed to leave his uncle’s house at set times with official permission, and not travel further than 20km (12 miles).

The double-amputee killed Miss Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp at the peak of his fame, and has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.

Her family welcomed his murder conviction and had described his Constitutional Court appeal as a ‘delaying tactic’ to keep him out of jail.