Oscar Pistorius jailed 5 years for killing girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius

After months of trial, South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius, has been sentenced to five years in jail for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The sentence was for culpable homicide which Pistorius was found guilty of.

The defence called for a house arrest and community service, while the state prosecutor asked the court to impose a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, Tuesday, said any sentence would need to demonstrate a balance between the crime, the criminal and the effect on the society.

She acknowledged that while Pistorius had shown remorse, a very light sentence may send the wrong message to the society, and encourage people aggrieved in the future to take the law into their hands.

“Yes the accused is vulnerable but he also has excellent coping skills. He excelled as a top athlete against big odds even going on to compete against able-bodied people,” the judge said.

Pistorius was also found guilty of negligently handling a firearm that went off in a restaurant in a separate incident.
The judge imposed a three years of fully suspended sentence for that offence.

Steenkamp was shot dead by Pistorius at his Pretoria home on the eve of the 2013 Valentine’s Day. The athlete maintains the shooting was in error as he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

The deceased was a 29-year-old law school graduate who turned to modelling before her death.

The state accused Pistorius of lying and pressed for his conviction for murder.

In her earlier ruling, Judge Masipa said there was no evidence supporting premeditated murder, but said Pistorius acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door in the “belief that there was an intruder”.

Culpable homicide means there was no intention to kill a person, but the actions were negligent.

The paralympian was escorted past a crowd of reporters into the court in South Africa by armed police.


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  • De Veers

    Dear Editor:

    Black South Africans are still mentally shackled by the after-burners of apartheid.
    How can a 5-year imprisonment be the fair penalty for homicide in this court trial?
    The law allows up to 15 years imprisonment but the black Judge gave just 33% of that.
    This is bad judicial conduct that should be condemned by all right-thinking South Africans.

    Oscar Pistorius has no excuse for firing shots into his bathroom, even on his own account.

    If he’d thought he was firing at an intruder he still had no tenable excuse given all other facts.
    He knew that his girlfriend was inside that house but he did not check to account for her first.
    But he rather jumped to the very mad conclusion that it must be an intruder in the bathroom.

    • Swagger

      100% you are right. If I had initial doubts of Pistorius’ deliberateness, that’s been wiped off. The little difference between the South African judicial system and Nigeria’s is the speed. Both are hopelessly corrupt. This sentence is morally flawed and Masipa is no better than a Nigerian judge like Talba who managed to sentence a man convicted of stealing N32 billion pension money, to only a fine of N720,000…

    • Otile

      Why do you think they assigned this case of heinous crime to an ass-kissing black woman, if not to set Pistorius free? Apartheid has created indelible inferiority complex in the psyche of Africans inhabiting Kwazulu Homeland.

  • Psalm 35

    South Africans in their majority are condemning the sentence as a sham. How can you sentence for 5 years and then give him an option to stay only 10 months and then convert the remaining 4 years 2 months into House arrest ? It is a disgrace especially as described by a recent South African who was jailed for 12 years to serve in full for burglary. Indeed George Orwell is right, some are more equal than others most definitely

  • suradeen

    Well Pistorious is lucky to have commited the crime in South Africa, if it were in Nigeria, he would have gotten capital punishment.

  • Lucky him, if I were the judge, he will get 15yrs with hard labour

  • junnne

    hmmmn. If na black man she for don give am 50yrs

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    Madam the reality of the African is that he has lost the sense of his humanity. In other word, he has accepted his socialisation by white people as being less than human. So we no longer bother about maintaining standards, initiating change and innovation, or intellectually competing with Europe and America. We are just too happy to follow and imitate them. With the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe, the British government has recruited almost two thousand (2,000) spies to protect Britain. By now you expect Nigeria to have an army of specially trained spies on a curriculum that includes the psychology and sociology of suicide bombers and Islamic terrorists, their modus operandi, how their clothing, movement, or appearance and general demeanour could easily give them away, etc. All that it would cost the Nigerian government to become a serious player on the world stage in regard to using KNOWLEDGE to combat terrorism, is to properly feed, house, clothe, educate and train captured Boko Haram soldiers or volunteers. But no, that will not happen until the West does it – USING OUR OWN RESOURCES- and we then imitate it. We are just throwing money at combatting terrorism without getting lasting or sustainable benefit from it – that is, in addition to losing our children, young people, livelihood, etc. In the recent Mali hotel massacre, their military was so wretched that some of the terrorists were so confident they went to the kitchen to prepare a meal for themselves (and which they obviously ate) before going back to kill some more in the hotel!! Sorry but Africa no longer considers herself as part of humanity. So we are only too happy to ‘also run’ rather than competing, let alone winning!!