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Oscar Pistorius granted bail extension

The Paralympic and Olympic athlete was convicted of culpable homicide earlier today.

Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 12 September 2014 where he was found guilty of culpable homicide. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Judge Thokozile Masipa has ruled that bail for Oscar Pistorius will be extended after earlier finding him guilty of culpable homicide.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the recent sale of assets by Pistorius could be an indication that he intended to skip bail and leave the country.

There were also concerns about whether Pistorius can be reintegrated into society, after his recent altercation at a Johannesburg nightclub.

But Masipa said the court had not been persuaded that bail should be revoked.

The Paralympic and Olympic escaped the more serious charges of premeditated murder and murder for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The 27-year-old double amputee, who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, stood impassively in the dock, his hands folded in front of him, as Judge Thokozila Masipa delivered her verdict earlier today.

Pistorius was also convicted of firing a pistol under the table of a packed Johannesburg restaurant but cleared of two other firearms charges - illegal possession of ammunition and firing a pistol out of the sunroof of a car.

Masipa based her culpable homicide decision on the fact Pistorius had acted negligently when he fired four shots from a 9mm pistol into a toilet door in his luxury Pretoria home, killing Steenkamp, who was behind it, almost instantly.

He said it was a tragic error after he mistook her for an intruder.

Pistorius will return to court on 13 October for sentencing.

Since the news first broke on the morning of 14 February last year, the case has gripped millions around the world who saw Pistorius as the embodiment of triumph over adversity, a man whose lower legs were amputated as a baby but who reached the semi-finals of the 400 metres at the London Olympics in 2012.

After this morning's ruling, the National Prosecuting Authority said it was "disappointed" not to have secured a premeditated murder conviction, but would not make any decision about an appeal until after sentencing.

The NPA's Nathi Mncube said they are satisfied there was still a conviction.

At the same time, there's been mixed reaction to the final verdict in Steenkamp's home town of Port Elizabeth.

Some residents at the Steenkamp family's pub, The Barking Spider, say Judge Masipa has handed down an appropriate sentence while others are outraged.

For more on the trial, click here, or visit the live Oscar Pistorius blog.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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