Oscar Pistorius’s release from jail on Friday has been put on hold after South Africa’s justice minister referred the parole board’s decision for review.
This was in contravention of Section 73(7) (a), which required him to have served one-sixth of his five-year sentence before being considered for placement under correctional supervision, unless the court directed otherwise, Masutha said.
Ministry spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga refused to speculate on a possible date for his release, telling the ENCA news channel “it will depend on how and when the review board is going to hear the matter”.
In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Musatha said the decision by the prison’s parole board to release Pistorius was too swift, hence illegal, adding that it was taken long before Pistorius served a sixth of his jail term.
The justice minister’s decision to review Pistorius’ early release was “valid”, said Mannie Witz, a South African criminal law expert, but continuing Pistorius’ detention could be challenged in court.
Throughout his trial, Pistorius maintained he shot his lover multiple times through a locked bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder. His defense team now has a month to file its response.
During sentencing, Judge Thokozile Masipa said the state had failed to prove Pistorius intended to kill when he fired.
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents and relatives paid tribute to their daughter today – on what would have been her 32nd birthday – by visiting one of her favorite childhood places and casting flowers into the ocean.
The department said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that Justice Minister Michael Masutha is checking to see if the decision by a parole board in June to approve Pistorius for correctional supervision, a form of house arrest, was correct and “in compliance with the law”.
Prosecutors this week lodged an appeal urging the athlete be convicted of the more serious crime of murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.
Prosecutors however insist that he deliberately killed her after an argument, and this week appealed the culpable homicide verdict.
Yesterday it was revealed South Africa’s Justice Minister was seeking legal advice on whether the parole board was right in its decision to release Pistorius on house arrest on August 21.
Usually ankle bracelets are applied to those under house arrest or on probation, but as both of Pistorius’ legs were amputated below the knee, he is unable to wear a standard device.
The Blade Runner was sentenced to five years in prison in October last year for the death of Reeva Steenkamp.