Johannesburg - A
South African appeals court increased paralympic champion Oscar
Pistorius' sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to 13
years and five months on Friday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein more than doubled his
original sentence of six years after the state argued that it was unduly
Pistorius, 31, was not in court for the hearing.
Prosecutors argued earlier this month that Oscar Pistorius failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend.
"One of the essential ingredients of a balanced sentence is that it
must reflect the seriousness of the offence," Andrea Johnson, of the
National Prosecution Authority, had told the court.
Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux mounted a strong defence of the judge
who handed down the six-year sentence, saying she took into account his
claim that he believed he was shooting an intruder.
The Paralympic athlete shot dead Steenkamp in the early hours of
Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his
He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that
he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.
In 2015, Pistorius was found guilty of murder and given less than half of the minimum 15 years in jail for that crime.
Pistorius was originally convicted of culpable homicide - the
equivalent of manslaughter - but the appeal court upgraded his
Peremanov, a constitutional law expert at the University of South
Africa's law school, told AFP that Pistorius could now appeal the latest
sentence at the country's highest court - the Constitutional Court.
But National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said he was pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling.
"We always maintained as an institution that this appeal is not about
an individual. It has got everything to do with the proper
administration of justice," he said.
"We hope the family will find closure knowing that justice has been served and the proper sentence has been handed out."
Oscar's brother Carl Pistorius tweeted that he was "Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted" following the court's ruling.
"We have all suffered incomprehensible loss. The death of Reeva was and still is a great loss for our family too," he wrote.
Previously an ambassador for disabled people worldwide, Pistorius was
released from jail in 2015 after serving one year of the initial
five-year term for culpable homicide.
He returned behind bars after his conviction for murder.
The year before he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first
double-amputee to race at the Olympics when he competed at the London
In a television interview, he said he believed an intruder was in the
house and "instant fear" drove him to grab his gun and walk on his
stumps towards the bathroom.