Nel deals with prison concerns


Paralympian Oscar Pistorius would not have his prostheses taken away in jail and could use his own doctor, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.

"The registered nurse will report any medical assistance device in possession of the offender," prosecutor Gerrie Nel read from documentation.

"Such devices may not be removed without the instruction of the medical attending," he continued.

"That is correct My Lady," acting national correctional services commissioner Zach Modise replied.

Modise was testifying in aggravation of sentencing for Pistorius, found guilty last month of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Nel was dealing with concerns raised by testimony for the defence that there were not adequate facilities in prison for disabled prisons, and that Pistorius would not be safe.

Modise said within six hours of admission to a prison a health assessment would be carried out on an offender.

Within 21 days there would be a "complete assessment" of a prisoner's needs. This would be used to compile a "sentence plan".

Modise said a prisoner could use his own doctor but would have to pay out of his own pocket.

On September 12 Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the culpable homicide of model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder. Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp.

Masipa found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges -- illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.


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