Oscar Pistorius settles in for first night behind bars

Oscar Pistorius received his overalls and has been allocated a cell ahead of his first night in prison.

Oscar Pistorius holds the hands of family members as he is taken down to the holding cells after being sentenced to five years imprisonment for the culpable homicide killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the high court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Convicted killer Oscar Pistorius is getting ready to spend his first night as an inmate at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria, having been sentenced to five years for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He has spent the afternoon being processed by correctional services and has received his prison overalls.

The double amputee has been allocated a prison cell in the hospital section of the prison ahead of his first night in the institution.

The Department of Correctional Services says his needs have been accommodated along with other disabled people who are catered for by the department.

Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced the Paralympian and Olympain athlete to five years for culpable homicide for shooting and killing Steenkamp, and three years, wholly suspended, for the Tasha's shooting.

Video: Masipa hands down sentencing.

During this time the South African correctional service is likely to come under scrutiny.

Most recently a video emerged of two of the so called Waterkloof Four having a party at this facility.

Earlier today Masipa said Pistorius's anger should not have clouded his judgement.


The judge found that the athlete's degree of negligence that led to Steenkamp's death, trumped his disability and vulnerability, when deciding on an appropriate sentence.

Masipa considered society's needs and felt that the community and those affected should be acknowledged.

She also downplayed Pistorius's defence team's concerns surrounding the state of prison, and praised Acting Correctional Services National Commissioner Zach Modise.

"Modise impressed me as he came across as a candid and willing witness. I had no doubt accepting his evidence as true and reliable."

She says Modise did not paint a false picture of a problem free system.

"If prisons in this country were below the required standards the ever vigilant human rights bodies wouldn't hesitate to take the required steps."

Masipa is confident Pistorius's needs will be catered for.


There has been varied reaction to the five year prison sentence.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will now meet with the prosecution team to discuss the way forward.

While the NPA maintains it's unhappy with culpable homicide conviction, it's satisfied he has been handed down a custodial sentence.

The prosecuting body has once again expressed its unhappiness about the conviction, with state prosecutor Gerrie Nel last week even arguing that the crime was so serious it bordered on dolus eventualis.

It's unclear at this stage if the state will appeal the conviction.

Nel had called for 10 years behind bars for the double amputee.

The NPA's Nathi Mncube says they have noted the five year sentence.

"We are disappointed with the conviction but we are satisfied the accused will serve some time in prison."

The state and the defence have 14 days to appeal.


The athlete's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, has pleaded for privacy.

"After 20 months of relentless public trial, I would ask the media to let us move forward in this process and give us some degree of privacy and dignity to do so."

Arnold slammed the state for ignoring the truth in its efforts to prove Pistorius planned to kill Steenkamp.

"They decided to inflict as much collateral damage as they could by keeping a cloud of premeditated murder over this case for as long as possible. One of the most distressed parts for me is how the truth became totally irrelevant for the state's attempt to make premeditated murder stick."

The model's parents, Barry and June Steenkamp, say they are satisfied with the sentence handed down to their daughter's killer.

Barry glanced over at Pistorius as Masipa handed down his sentence.

When he left the courthouse, Barry would only say that he was satisfied with the judge's decision.

The couple's advocate Dup de Bruyn explained their position.

"The family has always said they wanted justice and they are satisfied justice has been done."

After the hype and dramatics of the past few months, the Steenkamps will now return to their home in Port Elizabeth with some sense of finality and of justice having been served.

The athlete is expected to serve about one year of his five-year sentence before he is eligible for correctional supervision.