South Africa’s justice ministry has suspended the decision to release Oscar Pistorius from prison on Friday. It says the move to release the athlete after serving 10 months of his fiveyear sentence “was taken prematurely” and with “no legal basis”.
The decision has now been sent back to the parole board for review. Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter last year for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he says he mistook for an intruder. It is not clear whether the decision on his early release could be reinstated before Friday.
The justice minister’s comments follow a petition from the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa, who have described the athlete’s early release as “outrageous” and “an insult” to victims of abuse.
Ms Steenkamp’s parents have said that the time Pistorius has served is “not enough for taking a life”. This week, prosecutors in South Africa filed papers calling for the athlete’s conviction to be reviewed and converted to murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years. His defence team now has a month to file its response.