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NPA: Pistorius sentence shockingly light

The NPA has officially filed papers appealing the Paralympic and Olympic athlete’s conviction and sentence.

Oscar Pistorius during his sentencing at the High Court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - Prosecutors in the case against Oscar Pistorius claim his prison sentence is shockingly light, inappropriate and would not have been imposed by any reasonable court.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has officially filed papers appealing the Paralympic and Olympic athlete's conviction and sentence.

Pistorius is currently serving a five-year prison term after being found guilty of culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

The athlete was absolved of Steenkamp's murder at the end of a seven-month trial after the state failed to convince Judge Thokozile Masipa of his intent to kill when he fired through a locked toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home, leading to a conviction for negligent killing and a five-year jail term.

Prosecutors say the sentence given to the athlete is shockingly light for someone who armed himself, walked into a bathroom and fired four shots knowing a human being was behind the door.

They argue that Judge Masipa erred in over-emphasising Pistorius's personal circumstances including that he was anxious and remorseful.

They also insist that she did not place enough emphasis on the horrendous manner in which Steenkamp died, coupled with her gruesome injuries.

The prosecutors are asking several legal questions, most importantly whether Masipa correctly applied the principles of _ dolus eventualis_ to the objective facts.

They want to know why she didn't make a decision on the circumstantial evidence and whether she should have trawled through Pistorius's plethora of defences and picked just one for him instead of rejecting his evidence.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress Women's League says it believes the NPA has a strong legal case in its appeal.

After judgment in the trial, the league had said it would make submissions to the prosecuting authority to ask it to challenge the ruling.

The league's communications convenor and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said, "We think another court will come to a different judgment."

Click here to view the NPA's legal papers.