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NPA ‘optimistic’ SCA will impose harsher sentence on Pistorius

The State approached the court on Friday saying the six-year term imposed on the former athlete was too lenient.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius hides his face during his court appearance on 5 March 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it's optimistic the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will accept its arguments and impose a stiffer sentence on Oscar Pistorius.

The State approached the court on Friday saying the six-year term imposed on the former athlete was too lenient as he should have been handed the minimum sentence of 15 years.

Pistorius murdered Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day four years ago; he maintained he believed she was an intruder.

The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku says the sentence imposed on Pistorius sets a dangerous precedent.

“Where a person is charged with murder, the prescribed minimum sentence being 15 years and a person is given a sentenced which we firmly believe is too lenient.”

Mfaku says the NPA is proud of Prosecutor Andrea Johnson.

“What it shows is that we’ve got capacity in the NPA, highly skilled people. She has put in some strong arguments and we’re optimistic.”

Advocate Barry Roux told the court that the sentence imposed on his client was appropriate considering the circumstances.

At the same time, the Steenkamp family says they have faith in the NPA and just want to see justice done.

June Steenkamp attended proceedings in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The family’s attorney Tania Koen says Barry and June support the legal route the State has taken.

“This is part of the course that it must run, the appeal procedure and they have faith in the Johnson. They just want to see justice done, what that is is for the court to decide and they will abide by the decision of the court.”

Judgment has been reserved.