Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. Africa
6 July 2016

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for murder

The sentence brings the three-and-a-half-year legal battle to an end.

By James Chater

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius’s initial sentence of five years for manslaughter was overturned on appeal last December.

The verdict was delivered by Judge Masipa at Pretoria’s High Court. Before delivering the verdict, Judge Masipa said:

“The sentence that I impose will have to reflect the seriousness of the offence. It will, insofar as it is possible, be fair to the accused, as well as the deceased’s family, and society at large.”

Pistorius was taken to jail immediately following the sentencing. Although prosecution and defence can appeal, both have since stated they intend not to.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The verdict given by Judge Masipa is lower than some had expected. Murder in South Africa carries a mandatory minimum term of 15 years.

On 14 February 2013, Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their home in Pretoria, South Africa.

In the initial trial, Pistorius admitted to shooting Steenkamp but claimed he thought she was an intruder. Prosecutors presented Pistorius as a jealous man, who killed his girlfriend in a fit of jealousy.

In June 2015, Pistorius was recommended for release after serving just ten months of his first sentence in prison. And in October of the same year he left prison to serve the remainder of his term under house arrest.

Half of the six-year term must be served until he is eligible for parole.

Topics in this article :