South African authorities deny issuing Pistorius arrest warrant
Johannesburg: South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said Friday no arrest warrant had been issued for Oscar Pistorius, one day after appeal judges found the Paralympic sprinter guilty of murdering his girlfriend. The Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday threw out his earlier conviction on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
"No arrest warrant has been issued," NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told AFP, dismissing local media reports. "We are facilitating the process so he can appear in court urgently." Pistorius, 29, is under house arrest in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide.
The double-amputee athlete known as the "Blade Runner" now faces a minimum 15-year sentence for murder. The appeal court ruling said the original trial judge had made "fundamental" errors in her ruling, and sent the case back to trial court for re-sentencing.
No sentencing date has been announced. Pistorius killed Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine's Day two years ago, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the locked door of his bedroom toilet. Last month he made his first appearance in public since leaving jail in October when he reported for community service at a Pretoria police station.
"I wanted respect for my daughter's life, and that's what I got," Reeva's mother June Steenkamp, who was in court, told US television shortly after the unanimous ruling by five appeal judges. Pistorius, 29, killed Steenkamp at the peak of his fame, and he has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.