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Oscar Pistorius and his jail sentence

<img src="oscar pistorius.jpg" alt="oscar pistorius" width="200" height="300">

What on earth is going on with the Oscar Pistorius case?

Oh my goodness, the drama around the Oscar Pistorius case just will not go away! Just this week we were informed that his parole has been approved and that he will be released on Friday 21 August. At the last minute, however, the minister of Correctional Services announced that he will be sending the decision to grant parole back for revision. What were his reasons? Michael Masutha defends his last minute decision by saying that the parole board already reached a decision on 5 June to release Oscar Pistorius on 21 August. This was a premature decision, says the august minister of Correctional Services. Such a decision (says he) could only be taken after Oscar Pistorius has completed 10 months of his jail sentence.

The family of the victim, Reeva Steenkamp, had their say in June already, long before the decision on parole was made. Observers noted the fact that the last minute decision by the minister was influenced by strong representations from the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa who argued that it would be an insult to all women if Oscar Pistorius were to be released during Women’s month. The African Congress Women’s league joined the fray, describing the intended release of Oscar Pistorius as “outrageous” and “an insult to victims of violence.” Many observers noted that the decision of the minister may be ascribed to political pressure. After all: the Oscar Pistorius saga remains to be big news, very big.

Let us forget, just for moment, about the controversy around the sentence Oscar Pistorius received and focus on the fairness of recent events. Just imagine how you would feel if you firmly believed in a promise for some months only to have it yanked away from you at the very last moment. That is just not fair. Why did the honourable minister wait until the last second? Why did he not act when the announcement was first made? Everything in this case stinks like that very terrible stink that undoubtedly indicate political maneuvering.