Oscar Pistorius
A judge has allowed the state to appeal Oscar Pistorius's acquittal for murder Getty Images

A South African judge has granted permission for the state to appeal against the culpable homicide verdict returned in the case of Oscar Pistorius's alleged murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius was handed a five year sentence for killing the model at his home after being found guilty of culpable homicide. He could be eligible for parole next year.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the sentence was "shockingly inappropriate and does not fit the crime and the accused". Nel is seeking to get the 28-year-old Paralympian convicted for murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa told the court in Pretoria this morning she will now allow the state's request to appeal against Pistorius's acquittal of murder.

Masipa said she was allowing the appeal "on the grounds there were issues of law, particularly surrounding the application of dolus eventualis". This refers to a lesser murder charge, also known as common-law murder.

Mapisa said: "I cannot say that the prospect of success at the Supreme Court of Appeal is remote.

"I am also of the view this might have a practical effect. The application therefore in respect of count one is decided in favour of the applicant, the state.

"The application for leave to appeal against the sentence is dismissed."

Nel responded to Mapisa's original ruling that Pistorius did not intend to kill his girlfriend by saying: "If one applies the law, there is not other reasonable explanation than murder."

The case will now go before South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal.