Oscar Pistorius must remain in jail, review board says


Oscar Pistorius must remain in jail and not be transferred to house arrest after a decision to grant him parole was again delayed.

His lawyer Brian Webber told the AFP news agency that a decision over his early release has been referred back to the parole board.

The Paralympic star was jailed for five years in 2014 for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp.


He has been fighting a lengthy battle to be released early from jail.

Pistorius was due to be released in August, but remained in prison after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention blocking it.

The parole review board – the final recourse for parole disputes – met on Monday to decide if the star, 28, should be allowed out on house arrest.


A definitive parole ruling is now unlikely to be made before the athlete in a separate legal process appeals against his conviction on 3 November in Bloemfontein.

This ruling could result in him receiving a longer prison term.

Mr Webber explained that the parole review board decided to refer the matter back to the original parole panel – the body accused by Mr Masutha of “prematurely” wanting to release him in August.

Analysis: Milton Nkosi, BBC News, Johannesburg

There will not be much sympathy for Pistorius because many people felt that the judge erred by acquitting him of murder.

The double amputee will have to remain behind bars because while his case joins the lengthy queue of other parole hearings that need to be heard, and there is no indication when this will happen.

Legal experts say the decision by the justice minister Michael Masutha to intervene was correct in terms of the law.

At the time of his intervention, Pistorius had been granted parole only six months into his five-year sentence.

The law states clearly that an offender can only be considered for parole after serving one-sixth of his sentence, in this case 10 months.

But because he has now served one-sixth of his sentence, he probably should be released by now.

Prosecutors argue that the judge who presided over his trial did not apply the law correctly by acquitting him of murder.

The judge instead found him guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide – equivalent to manslaughter.

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents are strongly against Pistorius’ possible release, telling an Australian TV channel in August that the Paralympian has ruined their lives.

“He killed her. He admits he killed her. She’s dead. Why didn’t he just let her walk away? Why?” Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp asked in the interview.

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