Oscar Pistorius sentenced five years in jail

Xinhua
October 21,2014

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Oct. 21, 2014. South African Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa on Tuesday sentenced South African Olympic and Paraolympic athlete Oscar Pistorius to 5 years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on February 14, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Oct. 21, 2014. South African Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa on Tuesday sentenced South African Olympic and Paraolympic athlete Oscar Pistorius to 5 years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on February 14, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)

PRETORIA -South African Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa on Tuesday sentenced Oscar Pistorius to 5 years in jail for killing his girlfriend.

Masipa also sentenced Oscar to three years for firing a firearm in a restaurant in Johannesburg. The three-year sentence was suspended for five years and the sentence would run concurrently.

In passing sentence Masipa said, “I have taken into account the seriousness of the offence, which led to the death of the deceased, the personal circumstances of the accused, and the interests of society. I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message. A long sentence would also not be appropriate either as it would lack the element of mercy.”

The prosecution Gerrie Nel had asked the court for a 10-year jail sentence while the social worker from the Department of Correctional Service asked for a three-year community service with stringent conditions.

“If sentences are too lenient, the administration of justice will fall into disrepute and people will take law into their own hands. The loss of life can’t be reversed. Hopefully judgment on sentence will provide some sort of closure for all concerned, ” Masipa said.

She also said a suspended sentence would not be proper. Meanwhile the African National Congress Women’ s League have expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict given by Judge Masipa. On Tuesday they said they have sought legal opinion on the matter.

“The ANC Women’s League remains dissatisfied with the verdict delivered by Judge Masipa finding Mr. Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide instead of murder. Our conviction on this matter arises on the basis that we believe regardless of whom Mr. Pistorius believed was behind the bathroom door on that fateful night, Mr. Pistorius shot to kill and therefore a murder did occur,” said the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) Women’ s League head of Communications, Edna Molewa.

They also said they will make submissions to the state with a view for an appeal since they believe justice was not done in the case.

Pistorius killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home in February 14, 2013.

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