Oscar Pistorius granted timeout from jail to attend family funeral

by Khodani MasindiAugust 17, 2017

Former Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was released from prison for a few hours on Wednesday to attend the funeral of his late maternal grandmother, Joyce Bekker. This was confirmed by the Department of Correctional Services’ Singabakho Nxumalo.

“I just received an update from the head of centre that he received an application (from inmate Oscar Pistorius) to attend the funeral and they granted him permission to attend the funeral. He was back in the facility at about 13h20 to continue with his sentence‚” said Nxumalo.

Earlier on Wednesday‚ Pistorius’ brother‚ Carl‚ confirmed to TimesLIVE that a service would be held for their grandmother‚ who died last week at the age of 93. At the time‚ he said the family wasn’t sure whether their brother would be attending the funeral.

However‚ he later confirmed to TimesLIVE that Oscar had been granted permission and was present to pay his last respects to their grandmother. “The funeral service went well. It was a really beautiful service as it was a great celebration of her life well lived [and] I was really happy to see my brother‚” said Carl.

Carl said that the family had asked for privacy as it was a private funeral service In October last year‚ Oscar attended the funeral of his paternal grandmother‚ Gerti Pistorius‚ who was 92. Pistorius got permission from the Departmental Policy on Amenities of Inmates which grants privileges to offenders.

This policy was introduced primarily to encourage offenders to exercise good behaviour‚ to instil a sense of responsibility and to ensure their interest and co-operation in the integration into detention and treatment programmes.

Compassionate leave can also be granted to low risk prisoners to attend funerals or if a direct family member is suffering from a serious sickness where it is suspected that they might be dying.

“When applying for compassionate leave‚ there are a number of factors that are considered before a decision is taken by the Head of Centre. This will include the inmate’s behaviour or conduct‚ and risk factor. A high risk offender wouldn’t ordinarily be granted compassionate leave‚” added Nxumalo.

Pistorius‚ who is serving six years in jail for the murder of his girlfriend‚ Reeva Steenkamp‚ in 2013‚ is currently imprisoned at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre‚ west of Pretoria‚ which has facilities suitable for disabled offenders‚ including bath tubs.

The funeral will take place at the St Michael’s Anglican Church in Bryanston‚ Johannesburg.

Source: http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2017/08/17/oscar-pistorius-granted-timeout-from-jail-to-attend-family-funeral

 

 

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Khodani Masindi