A justice minister in South Africa has decided to block the early release of Oscar Pistorius on Friday. He believes the decision of the parole board to grant the athlete an early release after serving 10 months of his sentence of five years was premature.
Legal sources have told the BBC that it can take a long time, possibly months, for the board to review the decision. Meanwhile, CNN reports that Pistorius was going to held on house arrest had his release been granted.
Masutha says it is too early to determine if Pistorius should be granted house arrest
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha was urged by a women’s group to not go through with Pistorius’ early release. He then ordered a review of the decision and determined the parole decision may have been made too soon.
The South Africa Correctional Services Act states that one must serve at least one-sixth of a sentence before being considered to be transferred to house arrest. For Pistorius, one-sixth of his sentence meant serving 10 months. He is approaching 10 months this Friday. Masutha argues that the board should not have considered transferring Pistorius until he actually reaches the 10-month mark.
Tragedy on Valentine’s Day
In 2014, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide following an incident on Valentine’s Day 2013 when Pistorius ended up shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead. Pistorius said that he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom and fired through the bathroom door. However, it was actually Steenkamp who was inside.
BBC reports that Steenkamp would have turned 32 on Thursday.