SOUTH Africa’s parole board has decided to delay the release of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius from prison.
Pistorius is serving a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The board upheld a decision by South Africa’s Justice Minister Michael Masutha who had intervened in plans for his release, saying the law required the athlete to have served a sixth of his sentence before his parole could be considered.
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Pistorius was due to have been released to house arrest in August after just 10 months behind bars.
His parole hearing was conducted before he had served six months.
The head of the Parole Review Board, Judge Lucy Mailula, concurred with the concerns raised by Masutha, that the parole board had “made the decision prematurely”.
It was not immediately clear when a new parole hearing would be held.
Pistorius was found guilty in September 2014 of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, after he fired four 9mm shots through a locked toilet door in 2013 killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day.
At a globally televised trial he argued that he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.
Prosecutors are appealing the verdict, arguing it should be murder because Pistorius must have known that the person behind the door could be killed. The appeal is due to be heard on Nov. 3.
A panel of five judges will hear the appeal. The judges could either reject the prosecution’s appeal, order a retrial or convict Pistorius of murder themselves, legal experts say.