– Question of intent –
Lawyers said they were not shocked by the state’s decision.
“It’s not a surprise,” said Wits University law professor Stephen Tuson, pointing to the question of intent or “dolus eventualis”.
“It seems to me that there were questions that could be asked of the judgement in respect of the court’s interpretation of dolus eventualis.”
South Africans had also criticised Masipa’s five-year sentence as too lenient after it emerged Pistorius may be eligible for parole in less than a year.
Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp said in an interview with a British newspaper published on Sunday that she believed her daughter was about to leave Pistorius when he shot her dead.
“It was Reeva’s bad luck that she met him, because sooner or later he would have killed someone,” she added.
The state prosecution appeal sets the stage for another instalment of a legal battle that has gripped millions around the world.
Originally Pistorius’s trial, which began in March, had been set to run for three weeks.
Almost eight months and a dedicated South African television channel later, Masipa handed down her verdict.
But the appeal is unlikely to see the same courtroom drama, with the proceedings instead being carried out by correspondence and without Pistorius being in attendance.
The case could be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal in the central city of Bloemfontein or by a bench of three High Court judges.
Pistorius, the first double amputee Paralympian to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics, is currently being held at the Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria.