The South African Department of Justice has put the release of Oscar Pistorius from prison on hold. The case must be reviewed by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board before the Paralympic runner can be freed under correctional supervision.
Pistorius is eligible for release after serving just 10 months of a five-year sentence for the shooting death of his girlfriend. The parole board has the authority to release Pistorius into home confinement after serving one-sixth of his sentence because he was sentenced under a specific section of the Criminal Procedure Act.
However, he was considered and approved for release to correctional supervision in June, only eight months into his sentence.
Pistorius should have served one-sixth of his jail sentence — 10 months — before being considered for release, justice department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga told South African broadcaster eNCA.
Mthunzi said it was uncertain if the parole board would be able to meet to consider Pistorius’ case again before Friday.
“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,” the justice department said in a statement.
Mhaga said “the decision of the parole board will have to be suspended.”
Justice minister Michael Masutha had earlier warned he was taking legal advice on if he had the authority to “intervene” and prevent Pistorius’ early release.
FOLLOW NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS ON FACEBOOK @ New Africa Business News.com