Oscar to stay behind bars

2015-08-19 16:44
Michael Masutha (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Michael Masutha (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Correctional supervision terms will determine whether Oscar can still compete once released

2015-08-19 14:33

During his correctional supervision, Oscar Pistorius may still be allowed to compete. Watch to find out why.WATCH

Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius will no longer be released on correctional supervision on Friday because of a technicality, Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha announced on Reeva Steenkamp's birthday.

This was because the decision to release him on correctional supervision was taken before he had served one sixth of his sentence.

Here is the full statement from ministry spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga:

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv. Michael Masutha, has decided to refer the decision to place Mr. Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board. The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) of Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre had taken a decision to place Mr. Pistorius under correctional supervision.

On the 17th August 2015 the Minister received a petition from the Progressive Women’s’ Movement of South Africa (PWMSA), wherein they expressed their opposition to the imminent release of Mr. Pistorius. In their submission, they request Minister, in his capacity as the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, not to approve his release citing the Parole Boards’ insensitivity to the release of the offender during Women’s’ Month.

In considering the petition, it became desirable that he peruses the offenders’ profile as well as the decision of the CSPB. In as much as the grounds for the petition cannot be legally sustained, he had to satisfy himself that the CSPB decision and the process followed was in compliance with the law. The Minister further sought legal opinion on whether he is legally empowered to do anything if necessary. 

In so doing, it became desirable that he considers the applicable legislation pertaining to the length of sentence for offenders incarcerated under section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

Upon perusal of the offenders profile, he established that Mr. Pistorius was sentenced to five years imprisonment in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the CPA. It is also evident that on the 5th June 2015 the CSPB considered him and took a decision to place him under correctional supervision on the 21st August 2015. We deem it prudent that we refer to the relevant section that deals with the process of placing an offender sentenced in terms of section 276 of the CPA.

Section 73(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act, Act 111 of 1998, states the following: ‘A person sentenced to incarceration under section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act, must serve at least one sixth of his or her sentence before being considered for placement under correctional supervisor, unless the court directs otherwise.

It is apparent therefore that the decision to release him on 21 August 2015 was made prematurely on 5 June 2015 when the offender was not eligible to be considered at all.

It is therefore clear that there is no legal basis upon which such a decision was made and is in contravention of Section 73 (7) (a) which requires him to have served one sixth of his five years sentence. One sixth of a five years sentence is 10 months and at the time the decision was made Mr. Pistorius had served only over six months of his sentence. It is important to state that the Minister cannot make a decision to approve or disapprove the CSPBs’ decision, except for offenders serving life sentences, as proposed by the said petition. However section 77(1) of the Correctional Services Act enables him to refer matters to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board (CSPRB) for a review of the decision of the CSPB.

In the circumstances, the CSPRB has been requested to review the decision of the Parole Board.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.