Bloemfontein – Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, convicted of the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, displays a lack of remorse and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions, the Supreme Court of Appeal said on Friday.
On Friday morning, Justice Legoabe Willie Seriti increased Pistorius's sentence from six years to 13 years and five months in prison for the 2013 murder.
This was after the State had applied to have his prison sentence increased, as it felt it was too lenient.
Oscar's older brother, Carl, tweeted shortly afterwards: "Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted."
Seriti said Pistorius should have been sentenced to 15 years, but the SCA took into account the time he had already served.
In the judgment handed down, Seriti said Pistorius had offered no explanation for having fired the fatal shots through the door of his toilet.
After he had perused the High Court sentence, Sereti said he found that it had "overemphasised" Pistorius' personal circumstances and misdirected itself in its assessment of an appropriate sentence.
"I find it difficult, on the evidence, to accept that the respondent is genuinely remorseful. The respondent [Pistorius] failed to take the court fully into his confidence.
'A heavy sentence'
"To my mind, the attempt by the respondent to apologise to the deceased’s family does not demonstrate any genuine remorse on his part," Seriti said.
Pistorius had failed to take the court fully into his confidence, despite having an opportunity to do so during the second sentencing proceedings, he added.
"It is clear herefrom that the respondent is unable to appreciate the crime he has committed. The logical consequence is that the respondent displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions."
Meanwhile, legal expert Attorney Marius du Toit told News24 that he believed the sentence imposed was "without a doubt... a heavy sentence".
He said that, after he heard arguments in the SCA earlier this month, he got the impression that it wanted to lay down a mark for all courts to follow.
"They were not going to play - they really wanted to make the public understand that when there is a minimum sentence, then the court should impose it, unless there are compelling reasons to deviate," he said.
'He has nothing to lose'
Du Toit said Pistorius should consider approaching the Constitutional Court.
"He has nothing to lose. Of course, it would be costly… but at least try to approach them," he said.
Du Toit said Oscar would spend more than six years in jail before he is eligible for parole.
The world-renowned athlete was arrested on Valentine’s Day in 2013 – the day of the killing.
The self-proclaimed gun enthusiast had fired four shots through his bathroom door, claiming that he believed there was an intruder in the bathroom.
North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014.
Pistorius served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest.
The State appealed the culpable homicide conviction, and it was later replaced with murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2016.
Masipa then handed down a six-year jail term for murder.
The State petitioned the SCA directly, arguing that the six-year sentence was far too lenient.