Prosecutor Gerrie Nel
During Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing hearing on Wednesday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel appeared to accuse a witness of homophobia.
Nel grilled social worker Annette Vergeer about her recommendation that Pistorius, who has been found guilty of the manslaughter killing of Reeva Steenkamp, be sentenced to correctional supervision.
During the cross examination, Nel questioned her about a statement in her report to the court in which she said that condoms were freely available in prisons.
Nel asked Vergeer: “Why is that a negative factor, that there are condoms available?”
She responded: “With all due respect My Lady, why is it a positive factor? It’s a male prison.”
He countered with: “Are you discriminating against homosexual consensual sex?”
Vergeer denied this, and said that she wasn’t against condoms in prison per se but that it indicated that people would be exposed to homosexual sex – with or without their choice.
Nel dismissed this and said that her view indicated a “bias” against prisons and asked her again why supplying condoms in prison is a negative thing.
Vergeer insisted that in prison, which should be a place where people “should be able to enforce choices,” the condoms were problematic. She claimed that prison condoms “could limit people’s choices.”
The sentencing hearings to decide on Pistorius’ fate continue.