Oscar Pistorius still in the limelight

2015-08-20 07:26
Oscar Pistorius is seen at the North Gauteng High Court, where he was found guilty of culpable homicide. (Alon Skuy, Times Media Group, Pool)

Oscar Pistorius is seen at the North Gauteng High Court, where he was found guilty of culpable homicide. (Alon Skuy, Times Media Group, Pool)

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Johannesburg - From CNN to the Guardian, Oscar Pistorius continues to make international headlines, after his release into correctional supervision was blocked.

Various local and international news agencies, which had already been running stories about Pistorius's expected release from jail on Friday, updated their websites with the announcement that the decision was being reviewed.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha said in a statement on Wednesday that the decision to release him had been premature.

On October 21 last year, the High Court in Pretoria sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

The Guardian's article was headlined ''Oscar Pistorius's release from prison halted by South Africa's justice minister''. It explained that the surprise decision came after Masutha scrutinised a petition from the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa. It was unhappy that he would be released during South Africa's ''Women's Month''.

Masutha had explained that in terms of the law, early release could only be considered once a prisoner had served one sixth of their sentence. In Pistorius's case this would have been Friday. He would have served out the rest of his sentence under house arrest. Therefore the parole board's decision, taken on June 5, to release him into correctional supervision, was premature.

The Daily Mail on Wednesday updated an article featuring a photograph of Steenkamp as a 14-year-old girl, to mark what would have been her 32nd birthday.

It quoted lawyer Tanya Koen, who was representing Steenkamp's parents June and Barry, saying: "June has always had faith in the justice system and perhaps the petition [opposing Pistorius's release] and all the South Africans and other people around the world may have made the difference.''

The BBC, Time.com and the Independent in the UK picked up the story by Wednesday evening. 

Journalist Nastasya Tay tweeted: ''That moment: 30 min pre-flight, w last airport beer, when you realise you didn't need to end your Greek summer to fly back. #OscarPistorius'', reflected the dilemma of many journalists wondering whether it was worth making the long haul trip to South Africa.

During his trial, the High Court in Pretoria was filled with journalists from all over the world.

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

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