The State is due to argue in the new year in the SCA why it thinks Oscar Pistorius's 6-year sentence is lenient.
Pretoria - The resentencing of Oscar Pistorius in June remained one of the most talked about matters this year. And not even the coldest day of the year could keep the crowds away from the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

At the time a gaunt Oscar made his way into the dock, hugging family members and Correctional Services officials along the way.

A month later he was back in jail, this time serving a six-year jail sentence for murder. This will be his second Christmas in jail - with a reprieve inbetween.

The athlete spent Christmas 2014 in jail, serving a 10-month stint of his initial five-year sentence for culpable homicide.

Spending nearly a year at the Kgosi Mampuru 11 Correctional Centre in Pretoria, Pistorius was released about three weeks before the last Christmas.

But this time jail was again looming large as the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned his culpable homicide conviction and replaced it with murder. The effect was that Pistorius had to be resentenced.

Although he spent last Christmas at his uncle Arnold Pistorius’s luxury Waterkloof mansion, he was under strict house arrest.

However, this year a bleak Christmas again awaits him in jail.

Pistorius is at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre and not in the hospital section of the Kgosi Mampuru, where he was kept before.

Correctional Services officials said this prison was the best place for him to undergo rehabilitation programmes. The jail cell is expected to be his home for at least two or more Christmases - if he is lucky.

His woes are far from over as prosecutor Gerrie Nel refused to accept that a 6-year sentence for murder was sufficient.

The State is due to argue in the new year in the SCA why it thinks the sentence is lenient.

Meanwhile, Pistorius’s fate is again in the hands of the appeal court, which could increase his sentence.

The only good news for him at this stage would be if the appeal court turned down the State’s request for leave to appeal against the sentence.

It has been almost four years since he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, but still there has been no closure.

While 2014 was an extremely emotional time in court for the Blade Runner, who from time to time burst into tears and even vomited into a bucket next to his seat in the dock, this year proved to be equally challenging.

The world will never forget the scenes which played out in July - it was Oscar on his stumps versus Steenkamp’s bullet-riddled body.

The proceedings took a startling twist as both the defence and the prosecution went for the jugular during sentencing.

The defence pulled out all the stops and presented a vulnerable Pistorius so that the world could see the man he was at the time of the tragedy when he pulled the trigger, killing Steenkamp.

On the other hand, the prosecution said it was also time for the world to see exactly what the impact of his actions were on his blonde model girlfriend.

In the middle of this emotional drama was Judge Thokozile Masipa.

She was confronted with the picture of Pistorius as a broken man and the athlete stood in front of her and the world on his stumps - a mere 1.3m tall.

As Pistorius stood there with tears streaming down his face, his advocate Barry Roux SC reminded the judge that at 3am on Valentine’s Day 2013, it was not an Olympic athlete that confronted a perceived threat in the bathroom of his luxury Pretoria East home; it was a vulnerable, anxious double amputee.

“What he did that morning must be seen in the context of his disability. I don’t want to overplay his disability, but the time has come to face the facts, to see the man as he was, and not the Olympic hero.

“It’s not the man winning gold medals who must be judged, but the man standing 1.3m high on his stumps.”

Pistorius cut a lone and tragic figure as he stood on his stumps in the front of a packed courtroom red-faced and tearful, while his advocate pleaded to the judge to have mercy on him when she sentenced him for second time.

As he stumbled on his stumps, first past the prosecution and made his way towards the defence side, loud gasps could be heard from the public gallery. A female fan broke out in loud sobs, while a member of the defence team handed a distraught looking Pistorius tissues.

A day later, Reeva’s father Barry Steenkamp had the public gallery in tears as his he spoke of his anguish following the news that his daughter had been shot dead by her celebrity boyfriend.

The grieving father said their home was filled with pictures of his daughter, the only child he and his wife June had together. “I talk to her every day I spend most of my time on the veranda. At 2am or 3am I'd sit there, looking at my phone. Virtually every day I get messages of support on Facebook and pictures. I have a few hundred messages and pictures (of Reeva) which I look at every day.

“I don’t wish this on any human being; on anyone in this whole world. It devastated us. I ended up having a stroke.”

Barry said his wife has forgiven Pistorius, but it did not mean he was exonerated. “It has been very difficult for me to forgive. I feel he has to pay for what he did. The time will come when I will want to talk to Oscar, but the time is not now,” he said.

Nel vigorously argued for the court to sentence Pistorius to at least 15 years' imprisonment. But the judge once again, as during the previous sentencing proceedings, highlighted all the mitigating factors in this case, including that Pistorius was a broken man. Upon hearing the verdict - a six-year jail sentence - Nel stormed out of court once the judge left.

A few weeks later, Nel listed more than 30 points as to why he believed the judge made a mistake by being “so lenient”.

Judge Masipa, however, put her foot down and refused the prosecution leave to appeal against her second sentencing. Nel immediately turned to the SCA - which will have the last word on the subject next year.

Pretoria News