Judge Masipa found that there were substantial and compelling reasons to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has referred the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) bid to appeal against former olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ six-year sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for oral argument.
In terms of an order granted by the SCA, the NPA and Pistorius’ legal team must be prepared to address the court on the merits of the NPA’s application.
The NPA was given a month to file additional copies of its application and three months to file the record of Pistorius’ criminal trial with the court, which means the application will only be argued next year.
The SCA also ruled that the NPA would have to pay the legal costs relating to their application, should it not proceed.
Judge Thokozile Masipa in August dismissed the state’s application for leave to appeal against the six-year jail sentence she imposed on Pistorius on July 6 after the SCA overturned Pistorius’ conviction on a charge of culpable homicide and ruled that he must be re-sentenced for murder.
The state wanted to take the case to the SCA, arguing that the sentence was too lenient, resulted in an injustice and had the potential of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute, but Judge Masipa said she did not believe another court would come to a different conclusion.
Pistorius was initially sentenced to five years imprisonment in terms of Section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act for the Valentine’s day 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who died after he fired four shots into the locked toilet door behind which she was standing, in the belief that he was shooting at an intruder.