By Hassan Isilow
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has increased Oscar Pistorius’s jail term to 13 years and five months in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
Justice Legoabe Willie Seriti said the six-year jail sentence given to Pistorius by a high court in Pretoria has been overturned.
“It’s substituted with the following -- the respondent’s imprisonment for 13 years and five months," Seriti said in a television broadcast.
Earlier this month, state prosecutors appealed the six-year jail sentence given to Pistorius saying it was too light and should be raised to 15 years, which corresponds to the minimum for murder in South Africa.
Justice Seriti said the former Olympic champion should have been sentenced to 15 years, but the court took into account the time he had already served.
Pistorius, 30, was initially sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter in 2014. He later had his conviction overturned in 2015 when state lawyers appealed the case after which he was released on parole after serving just a year in prison.
The Supreme Court of Appeal determined he was guilty of murdering Steenkamp and ordered a fresh sentence.
Last year, Pretoria High Court judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison.
She said she had considered a number of factors in delivering what she believed to be a fair sentence to the athlete, including his remorse for the crime and his apology to the Steenkamp family. But prosecutors again appealed the sentence.
The athlete killed his girlfriend in February 2013, when he fired a handgun four times through a locked toilet door in his home in Pretoria.
Pistorius, a double amputee, known as Blade Runner for his athletic achievements, maintains he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder when he opened fire in their Pretoria home.
Pistorius won a gold medal at the Athens Paralympic Games at the age of 17, turning him into a national hero. In 2012, he became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics.