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Masutha to make decision on Oscar petition

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Justice Minister Michael Masutha will consider a petition by an NGO opposing Oscar Pistorius’s release together with a legal opinion, and make a decision before Friday, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“The minister will make a decision after he has considered the petition, before Friday. That petition goes together with the legal opinion,” Justice Ministry spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga told News24.

“In the process of considering the petition by PWMSA [Progressive Women’s Movement of SA] he will also satisfy himself that the decision [by the parole board] and the process that preceded the decision to place him [Pistorius] under correctional supervision is in compliance with the law. He is seeking a legal opinion to see if he is empowered to intervene if necessary.”

The former Paralympic athlete is expected to be released into correctional supervision on Friday.

News24 reported on Monday that PWMSA wrote to Masutha opposing Pistorius’s release.

There was concern that Pistorius was being released on correctional supervision during Women’s Month.

“We need clarity of why this month,” PWMSA Gauteng co-convenor Jacqui Mofokeng told News24.

“Why didn’t they choose another month? They are rubbing salt into the wounds.”

She said the letter was sent to Masutha on Thursday on behalf of the 80 organisations, political and non-political, which made up the PWMSA.

Correctional services spokesperson Logan Maistry said on Monday that the Kgosi Mampuru prison’s correctional supervision and parole board had met on June 5, and approved Pistorius’s release into correctional supervision.

Pistorius was being released after having spent 10 months in jail.

He was sentenced to five years in jail on October 21 2014 for killing Steenkamp, his girlfriend at the time.

He shot her four times through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on February 14 2013, apparently thinking she was an intruder. News24

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