Prosecutors seek to increase Oscar Pistorius' sentence

He was jailed six years last year for murdering Reeva Steenkamp

Prosecutors seek to increase Oscar Pistorius' sentence

Oscar Pistorius leaves the Pretoria High Court on March 7th, 2014 | Image: Safodien Mujahid/ABACA/PA Images

Prosecutors are appealing to extend the six-year murder sentence handed to Oscar Pistorius last year.

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal will hear the State's arguments on November 3rd.

Pistorius, a Paralympic gold medallist, was jailed in 2016 for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) there will claim the sentence was too short.

"The State, in the papers, we stipulate clearly that the sentence imposed is shockingly low," said NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku.

"The presiding officer has the discretion to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence when compelling and substantial circumstances exist.

"But... with this matter, the presiding officer exercised that discretion in a very lenient manner."

The NPA filed papers in September 2016 in an attempt to get the Supreme Court of Appeal to increase the athlete's jail term.

The 29-year-old runner shot and killed his Ms Steenkamp at his home on Valentine's Day in 2013.

He initially served one year of a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter, but the conviction was later overturned by an appeals court.

Pistorius was then convicted of the more serious charge of murder.

He could have been jailed for life but Judge Thokozile Masipa decided six years would be sufficient.

Pistorius has always insisted the shooting was a mistake, saying he thought an intruder had entered his home and he feared for his safety.

He fired four shots through a locked toilet door, hitting Ms Steenkamp in the head, hip and arm.

Pistorius claimed in court it was only when he battered down the door with a cricket bat that he realised who was behind it.