South Africa's justice minister ordered a review of a previous parole ruling for Oscar Pistorius
Under South African law, transfer to house arrest can be considered after one-sixth of a sentence is served
A South African parole board will consider imprisoned athlete Oscar Pistorius’ parole case on September 18, a spokeswoman for the former Olympian said Thursday.
Pistorius, who was sentenced in October to five years in prison for culpable homicide in the 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, had been expected to be transferred to house arrest last week at the recommendation of a parole board.
Under South Africa’s Correctional Services Act, Pistorius must serve at least one-sixth of his sentence – in this case, 10 months – “before being considered for placement” to house arrest.
The prison parole board, when it announced its decision in June, believed Pistorius would therefore be eligible to transfer on August 21, marking 10 months to the day after he was sentenced.
But Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha – who was urged by a women’s group to halt the transfer – said that according to his reading of the law, the board shouldn’t have even considered the transfer until the 10-month mark.
Pistorius, now 28, acknowledged firing the fatal shots through the bathroom door in his home but said he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom rather than his girlfriend, a model and law school graduate.
Prosecutors are appealing the verdict, believing Pistorius should be convicted of murder. The state’s appeal is set to take place in November.
Pistorius, whose legs were amputated before his first birthday, was famed for his track career, competing in Paralympic and Olympic events.
CNN’s Brent Swails reported from Johannesburg and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.