Pistorius to be sentenced in June

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Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will be sentenced in June for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the Pretoria Hight Court said on Monday.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba, who presided over an earlier bail hearing, told Pistorius that he would face a fresh sentencing hearing from June 13-17.

Pistorius spoke only to confirm that he understood the judge's decision.

The Paralympian's culpable homicide conviction and his five-year prison sentence were overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision in December 2015, when appeal judges instead found him guilty of murder. The state wants a minimum 15-year jail term for Pistorius.

The athlete, who is currently living at his uncle's home in Pretoria, will remain on bail until the new hearing. His lawyer told the court that his tracking device, which he wears on his wrist, had malfunctioned several times, alerting him that he had broken bail conditions while he was in fact at home

The Constitutional Court last month rejected his application to appeal the decision by the SCA to set aside his culpable homicide conviction, which means he'll be now sentenced as a murderer.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp at his house on Valentine's Day three years ago. He's maintained that he thought she was an intruder.

Pistorius family spokesperson Anneliese Burgess told the media before his brief court appearance that while she had received several requests for information on Pistorius's hospital visit, she does not have the information.

"I have asked the family for more information but at the moment I know nothing about him being in hospital. I am sure that getting back to me is not a priority at the moment for them (the Pistorius family)," she said.

A later response from Burgess lent some credence to claims that the athlete was hospitalized. But the family would not comment as this was a "private matter".

Pistorius' supporters - The Worldwide Supporters of Oscar Pistorius - shouted his name as he entered the court. One woman could be heard shouting on top of the voice: "We all make mistakes!"

At the fresh sentencing procedures the state is set to argue for a heavy sentence, while the defence will ask the court to be lenient.

Pistorius spent a year in jail and underwent numerous offender programs, which will count in his favor.

Pistorius spent the festive season under house arrest with his family after being granted about US$1000 (R10,000) bail in December.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to set down in June for fresh sentencing procedures.

In December last year, the SCA found that Masipa made errors in law when convicting the athlete of culpable homicide.

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