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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Oscar Pistorius has been eligible for parole since March

Pistorius has been eligible for parole for more than six months.


The Constitutional Court has confirmed convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been eligible for parole for more than six months after he served half of his sentence by 21 March.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said on Monday they received an order from the apex court regarding the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) judgment delivered on 24 November 2017.

Parole

DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said they were studying the order from the ConCourt on Pistorius‘ parole.

“Briefly, the matter relates to the sentence given to inmate Oscar Leonard Pistorius, its effective date and the impact on the calculation of the minimum detention period.

“DCS is studying the order and shall in due course pronounce itself on the way forward. This shall ensure the order of court is correctly executed,” Khumalo said.

ALSO READ: ConCourt affidavit on Pistorius’ litigation to be filed, says justice department after delay

Nxumalo stated Pistorius’ “minimum detention period” – the time he needed to serve before being considered for parole – was half his sentence.

Pistorius implored the Constitutional Court to clarify his parole in August, stating the SCA had created “utter confusion” about when his murder sentence came into effect.

After DCS dropped their opposition to Pistorius’ attempt to establish when exactly his 13-year-five-month sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, came into effect, the apex court found that the SCA had correctly antedated that sentence to 6 July 2016, according to News24.

Denied freedom

The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) denied the 36-year-old’s latest bid for freedom in March because he had not served the minimum amount of jail time required.

Pistorius insists his second murder sentence should have been antedated to 6 July 2016, the day he started serving his first murder sentence.

“Every day that I am detained and prohibited from applying for parole, in circumstances that I am already eligible for parole and might be successful to obtain parole, constitutes an infringement on my fundamental rights,” Pistorius said.

Sentence

Pistorius is serving a 15-year prison sentence after he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, opening fire on her while she was standing behind his closed bathroom door.

He pleaded not guilty to murder and has constantly maintained he thought Reeva was an intruder.

Pistorius was initially sentenced to six years in jail in 2016 by North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa.

That sentence was later overturned by the SCA in 2017 and increased to an effective 13 years and five months.

ALSO READ: Oscar Pistorius implores ConCourt to clarify his eligibility for parole

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