Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in prison

Oscar Pistorius arriving at court.

IN a somewhat surprising decision, the Judge, Thokozile Masipa, the presiding judge in the original trial which found him guilty of culpable homicide, sentenced Oscar Pistorius to just six years imprisonment on July 6 for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

This is just one year more than his original sentence even though South African law implies a minimum sentence of 15 years. The judge said in her announcement that there were “substantial and compelling reasons” to deviate from the minimum sentence for murder as she is not convinced that he intended to murder Ms Steenkamp.

Judge Masipa left the courtroom soon after delivering the sentence but made it clear that she would be available to hear an appeal immediately if that was required. As there is no obvious case for an appeal from the defence, it must be assumed that she was leaving the door open for the prosecution to appeal the length of the sentence.

Under current law, it is likely that he will be able to apply for parole after serving two years of the new sentence, and although the defence had requested that he be allowed to undertake a non-custodial sentence, this was rejected out of hand, as an element of punishment for the crime committed had to be seen.

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    • roy león

      06 July 2016 • 14:03

      SHOCKING!.. is the only word to describe the verdict.
      Did anyone ask the questions……????
      If he was awakened in the night by a noise in the toilet.
      Would he not FIRST assume that it was his girlfriend.?
      If he did not immediately come to that conclusion, would he NOT have tried to awaken his girlfriend to ask… “Do you hear that noise in the Toilet.?”
      I read in one report that his gun was kept in the bedside cabinet on his girlfriend’s side of the bed.
      How did he reach it without realising that his girlfriend was not there, & therefore it must be her in the toilet.?
      To be continued…….

    • roy león

      06 July 2016 • 14:04

      Part 2..The biggest question for me was…. WHY would a couple in a sleeping relationship need to consider LOCKING the door, when going to the loo in the middle of the night.?
      It screams to me that she was terrified of him and ran into the loo and locked the door to avoid his anger.
      Probably in fear of the gun, that he was waving.
      Also …. IF it had have been an intruder in the loo WHY would they have locked the door.? There will be little of value in a toilet. And if Pistorius had shot and killed an intruder would that not also be homicide.? The intruder could have been unarmed. Why didn’t Pistorious shout,- “Come out with your hands up, I have a gun” ?
      The poor terrified girlfriend could have shouted back
      ” Please don’t shoot it’s only me “
      Ach, as they say in S.A. the whole case stinks of a compromise/cover up, to suit an unsavoury situation.
      Let’s hope the Chilcot enquiry doesn’t let the villains off so lightly.
      Disgruntled and disgusted

    • Mark

      06 July 2016 • 15:27

      Please,no need for explanations,he killed her no doubt about it and has been allowed off light, without his disability and notoriety he would have got the max!

    • Harold Victor Petty

      07 July 2016 • 09:40

      Masipa is as guilty as Pistorius of the murder of Reeva. She has let him off the hook, so much said for the justice in SA.

    • Margaret Taylor

      07 July 2016 • 11:07

      What would the judge have done if it was her daughter that had been murdered. Bet she would have sent him to prison forever. How terrible for the family. No words will ever console them. He will get out in maybe 3 years get another girlfriend and will probably do the same thing. He has shown over the years that he can be violent. You dont shoot guns willy nilly like he did


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