No word on potential legal action by Oscar's lawyers

2015-08-19 21:15
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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Johannesburg - There was no word from Oscar Pistorius's lawyers on Wednesday night on whether they would pursue legal action following the decision by Justice Minister Michael Masutha to suspend the release of the Paralympian on parole.

His attorney Brian Webber could not immediately be reached for comment. However, Pistorius's family said they would consider their options.

"We accept the decision made by the minister of justice and are considering our options," family spokesperson Anneliese Burgess told News24 earlier.

Masutha intervened because the decision to release Pistorius on correctional supervision on Friday was taken before he had served one sixth of his sentence, according to a statement from his ministry.

He referred the decision back to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board.

This followed a petition from the Progressive Women’s Movement of SA (PWMSA) opposing Pistorius's release.

PWMSA said on Monday that it was concerned that Pistorius was being released on correctional supervision during women's month.

The petition was sent to Masutha last week Thursday on behalf of the 80 organisations, political and non-political, which made up the PWMSA.

In June, the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board said Pistorius would leave the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on August 21.

Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp with four shots fired from his gun on Valentine's Day in 2013.

He was found guilty of culpable homicide, and discharging a firearm in a restaurant, and was sentenced to spend five years in jail.

'Excitement'

According to the ANC Women's League on Wednesday, Steenkamp's family were "excited" that Pistorius would not be released on Friday.

"They called me, I cannot tell you how excited they are," ANCWL Gauteng spokesperson, Jacqui Mofokeng told News24.

"They phoned me to say 'thank you, thank you'."

Mofokeng was part of PWMSA.

"The question is, if the petition was not out, we don't know what was going to happen because it looks like he [Pistorius] was going to be out," she said.

"We need to know more about the parole board. For me they have made a boo-boo, I tell you."

Steenkamp would have turned 32 on Wednesday.

Good birthday present

Mofokeng said the news that Pistorius would not be released was a good birthday present.

"I think it is the best birthday ever for Reeva... At least on Reeva's birthday... the minister will say I'm going to review [his release]," she said.

She said the Steenkamp family spent the day at the beach.

Mofokeng was one of the women who supported June Steenkamp during the murder trial.

The ANCWL said it was still convinced that Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down an erroneous judgment and lenient sentence in Pistorius's trial.

"It is our wish that Pistorius remains in custody until November when the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will hear the appeal brought by the NPA against the judgment and the sentence."

Reeva Steenkamp's uncle Michaeal told News24 earlier: "Without knowing the details, I think justice will serve its course. I am sure that the details must be ironed out, regardless of what the situation is. Where he [Pistorius] is at, procedure must be followed."

Read more on:    ancwl  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  michael masutha  |  oscar pistorius trial

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