Pistorius, who stood impassively as the sentence was read out, hugged members of his legal team and chatted briefly with his sister Aimee before being led away by police. He was originally convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years behind bars in October 2014, but spent only a year of that time in prison.
She also spoke of the devastating effect the crime had on Steenkamp's family.
A Steenkamp family representative did not take issue with the sentence: "The family has said it before they wanted the law to run its course".
Pistorius, 29, shot and killed Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa, in the early morning on Valentine's Day 2013, firing four bullets through a bathroom door.
The state has already been quoted as saying it will appeal anything less than an eight-year sentence as this would set an unacceptable precedent for other murder cases.
Advocate Mannie Witz says he will have to serve at least half of his six-year jail sentence.
With his long legal battle perhaps still not at an end, some campaigners called for a tougher punishment. The obvious influence of his wealth and status combined with the fact that spousal abuse in South Africa (and let's be real, in all of the world) is still largely swept under the rug make the light sentencing unsurprising, but no less shitty.
Pistorius was found guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp by an appeals court in December 2015.
Pistorius, dressed in black tie, white shirt and black jacket, stared straight ahead in court during Wednesday's televised proceedings. The athlete is immediately taken to Pretoria prison. She said the sentence was an embarrassment to the country's justice system. "The life of the accused shall also never be the same", Masipa said, calling Pistorius a "fallen hero". Last month, Pistorius' lawyers had him remove his artificial legs in the courtroom to show how he would be especially vulnerable in prison.
His lawyers had argued he should not be returned to jail on account of an anxiety disorder and depression. Prosecutors have said Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument. Two months later, the Supreme Court of Appeals changed the verdict to murder.
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The same week the two men were killed, a gunman killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas on Thursday. By Monday, at least 309 people had been taken into police custody in New York, Chicago, Baton Rouge , and St.