December 4, 2015 / 3:32 PM / in 2 years

South African authorities deny issuing arrest warrant for Pistorius

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African authorities on Friday denied issuing an arrest warrant for Oscar Pistorius, who was convicted on appeal of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, rejecting an earlier report by a local television station.

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in this May 6, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Files

“It is not the case,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told Reuters. “No such warrant has been issued.”

The Supreme Court on Thursday upgraded the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from “culpable homicide”, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence. A murder conviction normally carries a minimum 15-year jail sentence.

ENCA television had earlier reported that a warrant of arrest had been issued for the paralympic champion.

Pistorius had been meant to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest on his uncle’s property in a wealthy suburb of the capital Pretoria.

A new sentence will be handed down at a later date, Mfaku said.

Reporting by James Macharia

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