14 Sep 2014

Minister criticises Pistorius ruling

7:55 am on 14 September 2014

A South African minister has said the acquittal of athlete Oscar Pistorius of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is "extremely disappointing".

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius cries in the dock during the verdict in his murder trial, Pretoria, South Africa, on September 11, 2014.

Oscar Pistorius cries in the dock as the judge read out her verdict. Photo: AFP

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga told the BBC she thought the judgement was "based on technicalities, not on facts".

Ms Steenkamp's parents also said "justice was not served".

Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

She said the state had failed to prove Pistorius intended to kill.

Ms Motshekga, who is also president of the governing ANC women's league, said she believed ordinary women in the country will now not feel that the law protects them.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp in January 2013. Photo: AFP

She said that she found Pistorius' version of events implausible and added she hoped the state would appeal against the verdict.

South Africa's prosecuting authority has said it will wait until after sentencing to decide whether to appeal.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs