Prosecutors call for Oscar Pistorius murder charge

Prosecutors called for Oscar Pistorius to be charged with murder at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, just a fortnight after the athlete was released from prison under house arrest.

The six-time Paralympic gold medallist was found guilty of culpable homicide in October last year after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

Pistorius was acquitted of premeditated murder, having claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door.

The 28-year-old was sentenced to five years in jail, but was released last month and is under house arrest at his uncle’s home in Pretoria.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told a panel of five judges that Thokozile Masipa’s verdict was not sufficient punishment for the man nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’, who did not attend the one-day Supreme Court hearing.

Nel said: “He had defences that exclude each other The one he elected to use, the court rejected that one and gave him another one.

“The court should have rejected his evidence as impossible.

“On the objective facts, the accused cannot escape a verdict of murder.”

Barry Roux stated for the defence that Pistorius fired shots out of fear and thought Steenkamp was in bed.

Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, was in Bloemfontein for the hearing and said she believes Pistorius should have served longer in prison.

She told Sky News: “He killed her and he’s been in jail for 11 months and it’s too short a time for taking someone’s life.

“And even though I don’t want to hurt him in any way, he has to face the truth it’s justice for Reeva.

“She lost her life, her career, having a child, her wedding and we lost her. It’s sending a bad message to the public, especially the women of South Africa, that 11 months is enough time for killing somebody.”

No date has been set for a verdict to be announced following Tuesday’s hearing.