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State: Masipa overemphasised Pistorius’s disability

The NPA announced today that it intends appealing the former athlete’s six-year sentence for murder.

FILE: Judge Thokozile Masipa reads her judgement during sentencing of Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - The State has argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa overemphasised Oscar Pistorius's disability and incorrectly viewed his vulnerability as a mitigating factor when sentencing him.

The National Prosecuting Authority announced today that it intends appealing the former athlete's six-year sentence, which it describes as 'shockingly lenient'.

The Supreme Court of Appeal convicted Pistorius last year of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day three years ago.

WATCH: Oscar Pistorius receives six years for Reeva's murder

The State says in its court papers that Judge Masipa appears to have overlooked her own findings on the effect of Pistorius's disability - that while he was vulnerable, he had excellent coping mechanisms.

The State further says that Masipa failed to take into account the appeal court's finding that the former athlete's subjective intention was unaffected by his physical disabilities.

It also relies on the appeal court's finding that there was no justification for the Pistorius's actions - and that he never offered an acceptable explanation for firing the shots that killed Steenkamp.

While the Pistorius family has not officially reacted to this development, the Steenkamps say they fully support Prosecutor Gerrie Nel's fight for justice.