Another fortnight behind bars for Pistorius
After initial confusion as to the outcome of Oscar Pistorius' parole review, it later emerged on Saturday that the former Paralympian would have to wait another fortnight to hear the final decision.
"I can confirm that the parole review board met and considered submissions. Unfortunately they could not complete the roll and had to postpone for two weeks," said spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, Manelisi Wolela.
He said the Parole Review Board had chosen to postpone and two weeks was the earliest date available for all its members.
Pistorius was supposed to have been released into his uncle's custody on August 21, to serve out the rest of his jail sentence under house arrest, according to an earlier ruling by the Parole Board.
Just 48 hours before his release, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced that he had reversed that decision and had referred it back to the Parole Review Board.
Masutha said the decision to release Pistorius just two days after what would have been Reeva Steenkamp's 32nd birthday and during Women's Month had been made prematurely.
He said it should only have made the decision on August 21, which was when he had served 10 months, or one-sixth, of his five-year jail term after High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide .
Women’s rights group, the Progressive Women’s Movement, had also asked Masutha that Pistorius not be released during Women’s Month.
This is reportedly the first time that a parole decision has had to be reviewed in the country and the implications are immense.
If the Parole Review Board agrees that Pistorius' parole was made prematurely and not according to the law, then the fate of thousands of other parolees, who were granted parole under the same circumstances, will suddenly also hang in a balance.
Even if the decision of the Parole Review Board is to release him, the decision will still need to referred back to the original parole board that granted him parole, a process that some estimate can mean he still stays behind bars for another couple of weeks.
Pistorius woes will not end with today's decision as the State was granted leave to appeal his culpable homicide conviction in the Supreme Court of Appeal. The appeal will be heard in November.
His lawyers say it's a waste of time by the State.
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