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'Masipa failed to take into account major aggravating factors'

The State says the court overlooked that Pistorius formed his intention to kill while in the bedroom.

Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court on 13 June 2016. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - The State has argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa failed to take into account three major aggravating factors when sentencing convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced today that it intends to appeal the six-year sentence handed to the former athlete earlier this month, which it believes is disproportionate to the crime of murder.

The former athlete shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.

The State argues in court papers filed today that Judge Masipa misdirected herself, in that she failed to consider three major factors when sentencing the former athlete.

The State says the court overlooked the finding that Pistorius formed his intention to kill while in the bedroom, and when he realised there was someone behind the toilet door he opened fire.

It adds that the appeal court rejected the defence that the former athlete acted in self-defence, and found that there was no justification for his actions.

Prosecutors believe the most important aspect to consider is the appeal court finding that Pistorius never offered an acceptable explanation for opening fire.