June Steenkamp emerged from South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal holding a single red rose on Thursday after a judge overturned Oscar Pistorius’ conviction for the killing of her daughter and convicted him of murder.
The former Paralympian athlete was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door on Valentine's Day in 2013. He claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and acted in self-defence but prosecutors claimed he shot with intent to kill and appealed his verdict.
Pistorius served one year in prison for culpable homicide. He was not in court to hear the ruling as he is serving the rest of his original five-year sentence under house arrest.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld this appeal. The judge described the case as "a human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions".
Almost immediately after the verdict, people paid tribute to Reeva in tweets reminding the world of the person at the centre of the case.
Steenkamp, who has campaigned against Pistorius' conviction and his release on parole in September, closed her eyes as the ruling was announced. She is expected to address the verdict later today.
Pistorius will likely spend Christmas at his uncle's home in Pretoria under house arrest before returning to the original court he was tried in for sentencing in January or February. The minimum sentence for a murder conviction is 15 years, with the time already served deducted.
His family released a statement shortly after the verdict was announced via their spokesperson where it said they would examine the verdict to determine what step to take next.
"The legal team will study the finding and we will be guided by them in terms of options going forward,” their statement said. “We will not be commenting any further at this stage.”
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