State asks court to consider violent nature of Steenkamp's murder

Oscar Pistorius is being sentenced as a murderer for the 2013 Valentine’s Day killing of Reeva Steenkamp.

FILE: Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp. Picture: Carte Blanche.

PRETORIA - The State has argued that the court should consider the seriousness and violent nature of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius' s crime, and sentence him to a lengthy jail term.

This was amongst the State's submissions during closing arguments in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday, where the defence pleaded for a lenient sentence with community service.

Pistorius is being sentenced as a murderer after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned his culpable homicide conviction for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

While Pistorius's defence team told the court he has been rehabilitated, State prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the nature of his crimes demanded a different approach.

"Serious crimes will usually require that retribution should come to the fore and that the rehabilitation of the offender consequently play a relatively smaller role."

He said murder must carry the minimum sentence of 15 years.

"One of the essential ingredients in a balanced sentence is that it must reflect the seriousness of the offence, and the natural indignation and outrage of the public."

The court will sentence Pistorius on 6 July.

WATCH:_ Barry Steenkamp: Oscar Pistorius must pay._


On Valentine's Day, 14 February 2013, Reeva was shot dead in Pistorius's home.

He claimed he thought she was an intruder when he fired four shots into a bathroom door.

A year later, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and handed a sentence of five years in prison by Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

In 2015, the SCA convicted Pistorius of murder following an appeal by the NPA.

Now, after spending less than a year behind bars, and the rest of the time under house arrest, Pistorius must be sentenced again.