There is no hierarchy in terms of which life is more important than another, neither should there be seemingly “untouchables”, the IFP Women’s Brigade said on Wednesday.
The party was responding to news that Oscar Pistorius is expected to be released on parole in August. He should spend the rest of his sentence in jail, the Women’s Brigade said.
“The IFP Women’s Brigade is very disappointed to learn that Oscar Pistorius will be released back into society so quickly after he was convicted for his part in the killing of Reeva Steenkamp,” chairperson Madlopha-Mthethwa said in a statement.
“The Department of Correctional Services and parole board must be aware that if they release Oscar so soon, they will be sending a message that people can commit murder and get away with a slap on the wrist. Oscar was convicted in a court of law and must therefore serve his sentence.”
On Monday, the department confirmed that the convicted Paralympian would be paroled later this year.
“The acting national commissioner of correctional services Mr Zach Modise has confirmed that the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) of Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, sat on June 5, [Friday] 2015 and approved the placement of Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision with effect from August 21, 2015,” the department said in a statement.
On September 12 2014, Pistorius was acquitted of murder, but convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead his model and law-graduate girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of February 14 2013.
He fired four shots through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day, apparently thinking she was an intruder.
On October 21, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for killing Steenkamp, and to three years – suspended for five – for discharging a firearm in a restaurant.
The department said that in line with the provisions of both the Criminal Procedure and Correctional Services Acts, Steenkamp’s family were invited and participated in the deliberations of the CSPB.
Madlopha-Mthethwa said if South Africa wanted to eradicate the scourge of violence towards women, the decision to grant Pistorius parole must be “reversed urgently”.
“It does not get any more serious than murder and there is no hierarchy in terms of which life is more important than another. There should be no ‘untouchables’ in our country as our constitution guarantees that all people are equal before the law.” News24