SOUTH AFRICA REJECTS LIGHT SENTENCE FOR BLADE RUNNER AND PREPARES APPEAL

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Oct. 27 (GIN) – South African prosecutors announced plans this week to appeal the conviction and sentence given to athlete Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in what was ruled “culpable homicide.”

Judge Thokozile Masipa also disappointed close watchers of the trial when she gave the Olympian runner a three year suspended sentence for discharging a firearm in a restaurant.

Pistorius was taken to jail last week to begin serving a five year prison sentence on the homicide charge, but observers say he could be out in 10 months.

"The prosecutors are now preparing the necessary papers in order to be able to file within the next few days," said Nathi Mncube from the National Prosecuting Authority.

Ms Steenkamp's mother June would not say whether the family would support a state appeal.

"All we have ever said is that we want to know the truth. We owe it to Reeva," she told the Times newspaper. She was interviewed ahead of the publication next month of her book, Reeva: A Mother's Story.

In the book she describes her daughter's boyfriend as "pathetic", "moody", "gun-toting" and "possessive" and rejects his version of events.

South Africans were further shaken by the murder this past week of a beloved soccer star, Senzo Meyiwa, shot while protecting his girlfriend when burglars broke into her house demanding valuables and mobile phones.

Meyiwa, called “one of the best goalkeepers in Africa”, began playing for a Johannesburg club (the Orlando Pirates) before rising to captain in September of this year.

It was seven years ago this month that renowned reggae singer Lucky Dube was killed in a robbery. The question in many people's minds is: there is crime all over the world, but why is it that here in South Africa violence is so gratuitous?

Between April 2013 and March 2014, more than 17,000 people were murdered in South Africa, an increase of about 5% since the previous year, according to police figures. w/pix of O. Pistorius after sentence

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