State to appeal Oscar Pistorius sentence

PRETORIA – The NPA will be appealing Oscar Pistorius’ six-year sentence for murder, it announced on Thursday. Pistorius murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced him to six years on July 6, citing “compelling circumstances”. In a statement, the NPA said they would file the papers today.

“We respectfully submit that the sentence of six years imprisonment, in all the circumstances, is disproportionate to the crime of murder committed, in casu, that is to say, shockingly too lenient, and has accordingly resulted in an injustice and has the potential to bring the administration of justice into disrepute,” the statement said.

“We hope that this appeal will also clarify further the principles of sentencing, particularly in crime categories for which there are prescribed minimum sentences ordained by legislation, notwithstanding the fact that a judicial officer has a discretion to deviate from the minimum sentence after considering compelling circumstances.” –