Pistorius parole confirmed - athlete out in August

2015-06-08 16:15
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court ahead of sentencing. (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock in the North Gauteng High Court ahead of sentencing. (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)

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Oscar Pistorius may be out on parole in August

2015-06-08 15:29

Oscar Pistorius may be eligible for parole as early as August. Here's everything you need to know.WATCH

Johannesburg - The parole of convicted Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was confirmed by the correctional services department on Monday.

"The acting national commissioner of correctional services Mr Zach Modise has confirmed that the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) of Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, sat on June 5 [Friday] 2015 and approved the placement of Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision with effect from August 21 2015," the department said in a statement.

"The CSPB has approved that Pistorius be placed under correctional supervision, as a probationer, in line with Section 276 (1) (i) of the Criminal Procedure Act, read together with the Correctional Services Act, Act 111 of 1998, as amended that says an offender may serve only one sixth of his/her sentence in custody, and continue to serve the remaining period of the sentence under correctional supervision."

On September 12 last year, Pistorius was acquitted of murder, but convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead his model and law-graduate girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of February 14 2013.

He fired four shots through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

On October 21, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for killing Steenkamp, and for three years - suspended for five - for discharging a firearm in a restaurant. 

The department said that in line with the provisions of both the Criminal Procedure and Correctional Services Acts, Steenkamp's family were invited and participated in the deliberations of the CSPB.

"The implementation of the sentence as directed by court, as well as the provisions of Correctional Services Act (Act 111 of 1998), is an independent and separate process from any pending appeals," the department said.

Steenkamps want him to stay behind bars

Earlier on Monday, Steenkamp's parents said they wanted Pistorius to stay behind bars, according to a letter tweeted by a reporter.

Reporter Karyn Maughan, who works for eNCA, tweeted that in a letter submitted to the parole board considering Pistorius' release, Steenkamp's parents said while they had forgiven Pistorius, being in jail for 10 months for "taking a life is simply not enough".

The letter reads: "We have forgiven Mr Pistorius even though he took the life of our precious daughter, Reeva. Our lives will never be the same as we live with the sadness of her death every day. Reeva had so much to offer this world and we were all robbed of her life when she was killed.

"As her family, we do not seek to avenge her death and we do not want Mr Pistorius to suffer; that will not bring her back to us. However a person found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for their actions.

"Statistics show that our society is under continuous attack from criminals and murderers. Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough. We fear that this will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent it should."

Meanwhile, the State’s appeal against the former Paralympic athlete's conviction will be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal in November.

In August, a judge would determine the exact date in November.

Before then, the record of Pistorius’ trial and the State's and defence’s heads of argument needed to be filed, court registrar Paul Myburgh told News24 on Monday.

In March this year, Judge Thokozile Masipa rejected the bid by Pistorious’s lawyers to stop the State from appealing her finding that Pistorius was guilty of culpable homicide. The State wants him convicted of the more serious charge of murder, which carries a heavier sentence.

In December 2014, Masipa granted the State leave to appeal her culpable homicide conviction, saying it was based on her interpretation of the law. Appeals can be granted based on questions of law, not on the interpretation of the facts of the matter.

Masipa however dismissed the State’s application to appeal Pistorius’s five-year jail sentence.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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