"How an appeal might work
The supreme court of appeal (SCA) sits at Bloemfontain; from its website, here is some more information about the form the Pistorius appeal could take:
The court decides cases upon the record of the proceedings before the lower court and after considering the written and oral arguments presented. Witnesses do not appear before the court, and the parties need not be present during the hearing of an appeal. A written judgment is usually handed down shortly after the argument.
The court hears appeals on fact and since there are no jury trials, it has a relatively wide discretion to make its own factual findings. Because of this jurisdiction, judges have to read the record of the full proceedings in the lower courts …
The court sits in panels of five or three judges, depending on the nature of the appeal. The composition of the panels differs for each case. The senior judge on each panel presides in that case. There may be more than one judgment in a case if there is a difference of opinion. The decision of the majority is the decision of the court.
The dates on which the SCA sits are also fairly limited – the next session does not start until 15 February 2015."