Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-leg amputee runner who was found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) after shooting his girlfriend last year, has been sentenced to five years in prison. He also received a suspended sentence of three years for a firearm offence.
Pistorius says he thought Reeva Steenkamp was an intruder trying to break into the house through the bathroom window. The state, according to Judge Thokozile Masipa, failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to kill her.
The trial, the biggest social media event in South Africa, generated huge global interest and intense media scrutiny. His conviction came on the heels of a 77-year sentence handed down to a rhino poacher in July, shocking and angering many Twitter users.
Others thought the judge was too lenient, a clear indication of a broken justice system in South Africa:
Utterly pathetic verdict. Makes a mockery of human life to be sentenced to less for killing than for fraud. Disgusting. #OscarPistorius
— David Talbot (@davidtalbot59) October 21, 2014
#oscarpistorius 5 years? He could be out in 2 years –NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!
— Dame Jana Hitchens-M (@offlinesometime) October 21, 2014
Under South African law, he will be eligible for release after 8 months.
Stefanie Ship asked:
What is wrong with this world in that you kill someone & only get 5 years imprisonment?! Is somebody only worth 5 years?! #OscarPistorius
— Stefanie Ship (@stefanieshipman) October 21, 2014
Remember – 5 year sentence means he could be free after not much more than 2 years. #OscarPistorius
— andrew harding (@BBCAndrewH) October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius today women find out that our life is worth less than a logo on a training shoe perhaps!
— Louise (@louisebro66) October 21, 2014
— Ms Marwood Black (@Marwood20) October 21, 2014
— Sibusiso Mgidi (@SibusisoMgidi1) October 21, 2014
The trial was longer than how long Oscar will spend in jail. #OscarTrial
— Prince Akeem (@tackyz) October 21, 2014
On Facebook, Thapelo Tips Seemise compared the sentence to the time that has passed since Steenkamp's killing:
It took 2years to get to a conclusion of 5years imprisonment!!! Justice is a myth in our country #OscarTrial
Others, however, were in favour of the sentence:
— KK Smith (@sassy_kk) October 21, 2014
So many people to quick to judge Oscar as if they're perfect, he got prison time so be happy and stop complaining. #OscarTrial
— Nqobile (@Iam_nqobs) October 21, 2014
— Prosper Ntuli (@Proetic) October 21, 2014
— Thebe Ikalafeng (@ThebeIkalafeng) October 21, 2014
People mustn't make conclusions here and insult and act pathetic towards our Law. There's appeal that looks more possible.#OscarTrial
— MTHOKO HLELA•✌️ (@MahatmaDUTCH_7) October 21, 2014
Some reacted with a sense of humor:
I expect a book trilogy release ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ #OscarPistorius
— Jess Espin (@JessEspinX) October 21, 2014
So…. who's buying the movie rights? I personally think Universal is overdone. #Oscartrial
— Felicia Mosiane (@FeliciaT_Mos) October 21, 2014
— Charmagne Ledwaba (@LedWhat) October 21, 2014
Shrien Dewani is a British national accused of conspiring to have his wife Anni Dewani killed during their honeymoon in South Africa. His trial is underway in South Africa.