Media descends on Pretoria prison for Pistorius

2015-09-18 10:21
Members of the media outside the Kgosi Mampuri II Prison. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Members of the media outside the Kgosi Mampuri II Prison. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Pretoria - Camera crews, photographers and reporters milled around the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on Friday morning, in anticipation of the possible release of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

The Correctional Services Department have been stingy with information on his parole review hearing happening on Friday, even declining to comment on an eNCA report that the board would meet in Durban and that his lawyers were not allowed to attend.

Journalists speculated over whether Pistorius would indeed be released on Friday; and if so, which prison entrance he would use - the front or the back.

A correctional services officer who asked not to be named told News24 that they had not been briefed about any special measures to take.

He said most prisoners used the main entrance to come in and out of the prison but it was possible that special provisions could be made for the athlete.

In a brief statement to the media, Correctional Services's Manelisi Wolela said this week: "The Parole Review Board is an independent structure from the Department of Correctional Services and its Chairperson will determine if and when the announcement of their session's results will be announced."

He referred further queries to the Justice Department, saying the matter was referred to the Parole Review Board by Justice Minister Michael Masutha, but the department has been tight-lipped on the hearing.

Pistorius was jailed last year after being found guilty of gunning down his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day. He has spent just over 10 months in jail.

He was initially expected to be released on August 21 to serve out the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

But two days before that, the justice minister announced he would not released, saying the parole board had acted prematurely when it decided in June he could be released.

Masutha said the board should only have made the decision on August 21, when he had already served one-sixth of his five-year jail term.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  michael masutha  |  pretoria  |  prisons  |  crime

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