Oscar Pistorius should not go to prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp but should instead face house arrest and do some unpaid work as a museum cleaner - that was the recommendation of Pretoria's Department of Correctional Services.

Pistorius serve three years under house arrest for culpable homicide. The maximum tariff for culpable homicide is 15 years jail in South Africa.

Controversially, a correctional supervision sentence would also allow Pistorius to resume his athletic career by training and taking part in sporting events.

Social worker Mashaba Joel Maringa recommended Pistorius should serve his sentence at home and leave the property to carry out community service at a museum and also a hospital.

Under the recommendation, Pistorius would carry out 16 hours a month of unpaid work - comprising two eight hour shifts - for three years.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel branded the recommendation "shockingly inappropriate".

The proposal of a non-custodial sentence for Pistorius is likely to be controversial, considering the weight of public opinion calling for him to be jailed.

"It is a very harsh sentence," Maringa insisted to Nel during cross-examination. "It is as harsh as any other sentence."

Nel said it failed to take account of the severity of Pistorius' conviction for culpable homicide. "You haven't applied your mind to the severity of the offence at all," he said.

Pistorius is attending sentencing hearings at a high court in Pretoria.