Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius faces minimum 15 years in prison after South Africa's highest court dismisses his appeal bid.Getty Images

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius faces a minimum of 15 years in prison following South Africa's Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss his bid to appeal against his murder conviction. Pistorius presently remains on bail until his formal sentencing.

"The court dismissed the application for leave to appeal because there are no prospects of success," said Luvuyo Mfaku, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority. "We can confirm that Oscar Pistorius' leave to appeal has been denied."

Pistorius, 29, was earlier convicted for manslaughter by Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipafor over culpable homicide or manslaughter of Reeva Steenkamp, and released in October 2015 after serving little less than a year of his five-year sentence. In December 2015, however, his charges were upgraded to murder after the state prosecutors appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

It was deemed that the initial trial judgement was "fundamentally flawed" since Pistorius should have known that his shooting four bullets into the toilet Steenkamp was in would result in her death. South Africa's Bloemfontein Supreme Court had ruled that Pistorius was guilty of shooting dead Steenkamp at his house in Pretoria on 14 February 2013. Reading the verdict on behalf of the five-judge panel, Justice Eric Leach called the case "a human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions."

"The accused armed himself to shoot if there was someone in the bathroom and when there was, he did. In doing so he must have foreseen, and therefore did foresee that the person he was firing at behind the door might be fatally injured, yet he fired without having a rational or genuine fear that his life was in danger ... I have no doubt ... the accused must have foreseen and therefore did foresee that whoever was behind that door might die. The identity of his victim is irrelevant to his guilt," said Leach.

Pistorius, however, in a final bid appealed to the Constitutional Court saying that the SCA "discriminated" against him without keeping into consideration his disability and anxiety disorders. He remains at his uncle's villa in a Pretoria suburb until his sentencing, which will be announced in a hearing at the Pretoria High Court on 18 April.