Convicted athlete Oscar Pistorius will no longer be released from prison this week, despite being approved for house arrest by South Africa’s parole board.
South African justice minister Michael Masutha took the unprecedented step of intervening in the case, ordering the parole board to review the decision to release Pistorius.
Mr Masutha said the decision to allow Pistorius to leave jail was made “prematurely” — just hours before he was legally eligible for parole.
“It is therefore clear that there is no legal basis upon which such a decision was made.
“One sixth of a five years sentence is 10 months and at the time the decision was made Mr Pistorius had served only over six months of his sentence.”
On Tuesday, Mr Masutha said he was seeking legal advice on whether the parole board was right to release Pistorius on house arrest.
Earlier this week, prosecutors lodged an appeal to have the athlete’s charge upgraded from culpable homicide to murder.
The minister said he received a petition from the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa slamming the release on parole.
Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a door on Valentines Day 2013.
The athlete argued he was shooting what he believed to be an intruder behind the door and not Ms Steenkamp.
Pistorius’ family said on Wednesday they were disappointed the athlete would not be released on Friday.
“We are shocked and disappointed that Oscar won’t be home this Friday,” a family member who did not want to be named said.
– with ABC