No House Arrest for Oscar: He Has No Ankles!


By Oliver Ngwenya    10-Nov-2014 22:06 UTC+02:00
The Prison Officials have said they cannot release Oscar for correctional supervision as he has no ankles on which to attach the tracking device.  Image: www.news.com.au.

The Prison Officials have said they cannot release Oscar for correctional supervision as he has no ankles on which to attach the tracking device.
Image: www.news.com.au.

Oscar Pistorius may not be eligible for release after ten months as previously stated soon after his sentencing last month because he does not have the ankles on which the tracking device can be attached. This was revealed by the prison officials at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison which is the place where Pistorius is being held after the five year term to which he was sentenced by Judge Thokozile Masipa in October.

Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide following a seven month trial which was widely televised and brought a lot of attention on the gun laws in South Africa. The case against him is that on Valentine’s Day in 2013, in the early hours of the morning, Oscar shot and killed his then law student and model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp at his luxurious Pretoria home. He and his team of defence lawyers, led by the flamboyant Barry Roux, argue that Reeva was shot because Oscar believed her to be an intruder who was ready to attack him and his girlfriend. The prosecution, on the other hand tried to make the court believe that Oscar shot his girlfriend, Reeva in a feat of rage after the couple had engaged in an argument. They argued that Oscar should have been found guilty of murder and sent to jail for a long time. In addition, he was also facing charges of discharging a loaded firearm in public, one at a restaurant and the other from a moving vehicle.

In making her judgement, Judge Masipa found that when he shot at the bathroom door in which Reeva was, he was not in a capacity to understand the consequences of his actions. He was consequently found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison. According to legal commentators, Oscar would only serve ten months of his sentence and then be eligible to apply for correctional supervision which is referred in layman terms as house arrest.

The basis of this form of sentencing is that the department of Correctional Services releases him to a fixed address, in this case his uncle’s home where he was residing for the duration of the trial. The point of contention is that he has to have an electronic device fitted to his ankle so that the department can monitor his whereabouts at all times. According to the department of correctional services, this cannot happen in Oscar’s case since he does not have ankles onto which the tracking device can be fitted. Oscar had both his legs amputated above the ankles in his childhood because of an illness. He has since relied on prostheses for mobility. The department is adamant that the device cannot be fitted to wrists as it can easily be removed. In confirming this, a correctional services spokesperson said, “We cannot use it on false limbs which could be left somewhere static while the offender goes missing.”


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  1. Hoepla says:

    So, our prison systems are not fully compliant? Should they not have thought of this when they introduced tracking devices?Should Oscar (and anyone else with similar disabilities) now be disadvantaged because of the lack of foresight of prison authorities?

  2. Martin Rayner says:

    Why can’t they put the device (with modifications, obviously) around his neck?

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