Phiyega disappointed with Oscar Pistorius verdict

Riah Phiyega says although is she’s not an expert, she didn’t expect a conviction of culpable homicide.

National police commissisoner Riah Phiyega spoke at the launch of the Crimestoppers International conference in Sandton on 15 September 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has told Eyewitness News she is disappointed with the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

In a judgment that surprised many last Friday, the blade runner was acquitted of murder and instead found guilty of culpable homicide, a verdict that left many shocked and sparked outrage on social networking sites.

Judge Thokozile Masipa found that Pistorius did not intend killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year and legitimately thought she was an intruder.

The police commissioner, who was speaking at the launch of the Crime Line/Crime Stoppers International (CSI) conference in Sandton on Monday, says she thought Pistorius would have received a harsher verdict.

"We read things differently. But let's leave those that know to guide us."

The police commissioner has told EWN that although Pistorius escaped a murder charge, she believes they still had a strong case against him.

"I still believe they had a very strong case."

She says her detectives were confident they had enough evidence to prove a murder charge.

"Murder and culpable homicide will always be a concern for us. People's lives are very important."

Phiyega says it's up to the prosecutors to argue the case in court.

"If I were them, with my little knowledge of the law, I've heard of something called an appeal. I would go and appeal."

For more on the trial, judgement and bailing ruling, click here.