"We've got justice" says mother of Reeva Steenkamp following Pistorius murder conviction

Oscar Pistorius has had his conviction changed to murder of Reeva Steenkamp

"We've got justice" says mother of Reeva Steenkamp following Pistorius murder conviction

June Steenkamp, mother of Reeva Steenkamp, arrives for the Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa | Image: Themba Hadebe / AP/Press Association Images

Reeva Steenkamp's mother says a South African court has secured "justice" after Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murdering her daughter.

June Steenkamp said the change of Pistorius' conviction from manslaughter to murder meant her family have obtained "respect for Reeva" and "respect for women".

An appeal judge said last year's verdict was "confusing and flawed" and the athlete will now be re-sentenced by the original court and will almost certainly go back to jail.

"We've got justice, we've got respect for Reeva, we've got respect for women," Ms Steenkamp told Sky News.

"I really don't care how long it is, as long as he pays for what he's done and takes responsibility for what happened. He's got to take responsibility for what he's done," said June Steenkamp.

A murder conviction carries a much heftier sentence: a minimum of 15 years in South Africa.

Justice Leach said Pistorius must have foreseen that firing into the toilet would likely have killed whoever was inside - but he went ahead anyway.

June Steenkamp's mother closed her eyes but remained silent as the decision was read out in Bloemfontein.

She later told Sky News: "I was just emotional ... I want recognition for who Reeva was, and for people to respect her and love her like I did." 

Pistorius was not in court for the verdict - he is currently under house arrest at his uncle's luxurious home after being released in October.

He served less than a year of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013.

Pistorius had said he accidentally shot dead Ms Steenkamp after believing there was an intruder in his house. The prosecution argued he killed her after an argument.

The Paralympian was originally convicted of culpable homicide - akin to manslaughter - after a trial under the glare of the world's media.

The appeal centred on dolus eventualis - a Latin legal phrase meaning the act was carried out knowing it would lead to death and the accused went ahead anyway.

The appeal court said the concept had been incorrectly applied by Judge Masipa in the original trial.

It also said that circumstantial evidence - such as whatsapp messages and certain ballistics evidence - was not properly considered.

She must now give Pistorius a new sentence, likely to be in the new year.

The appeal court verdict - decided by five judges - described the case as a "human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions".