Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for killing his girlfriend
Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day of last
year Eurosport reports.
The Olympic and Paralympic runner was convicted of
culpable homicide last month for shooting dead 29-year-old
law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in
Judge Thokozile Masipa – only the second black woman to
rise to the bench – stressed the difficulty of arriving at a
decision that was “fair and just to society and to the
accused”, but ordered that Pistorius serve a maximum of
five years for the crime.
His only reaction was to wipe his eyes before two police
officers led him down to the holding cells beneath the High
Court in the heart of the South African capital.
Ninety minutes later, an armoured police vehicle carrying
Pistorius – still dressed in dark suit, white shirt and black tie
– left the building through a throng of reporters towards
Pretoria Central Prison, where he is expected to serve his
Once the execution site for opponents of South Africa’s
former white-minority government, the jail is now home to
the country’s most hardened criminals, including the man
known as “Prime Evil”, apartheid death squad leader Eugene
de Kock. Prisons officials said Pistorius, whose lower legs
were amputated when he was a baby, would be housed in a
separate and secure hospital wing of the massive complex.
His family remained calm throughout the sentencing.
Pistorius was also sentenced to three years for unlawful
discharge of a firearm in a restaurant, with that portion of
the sentence suspended for five years.
After the proceedings, one of Pistorius’s legal team, Roxanne
Adams, told Sky News that Pistorius will serve just a sixth of
his sentence in prison – a mere 10 months –before serving
the rest of his sentence under house arrest.
“Justice was served,” said the Steenkamp family lawyer, Dup
de Bruyn, adding that it was “the right sentence” – but the
victim’s mother put things in a different light.
“There is no closure without Reeva, unless you can magic
her back,” said June Steenkanp.