South African prosecutors have won their bid to appeal the "culpable homicide" sentence handed down to Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend.

Now they are going to seek a murder conviction for the world-famous athlete at the Supreme Court.

"I cannot say the prospect of success at the Supreme Court is remote," said Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa in granting the appeal.

The amputee athlete was sentenced to five years in jail in October for unintentionally shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.

Judge Masipa said prosecutors could only appeal the conviction, but not the length of the sentence.

Pistorius' lawyers had been against the appeal request, while prosecutors argued that the judge did not interpret the law correctly while giving the verdict of "culpable homicide".

Source: Agencies