Oscar Pistorius was on Wednesday sentenced to six years jail term for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp but legal experts now claim the disgraced athlete could be released on house arrest after serving one sixth of his murder sentence.
Criminal lawyer William Booth, who chairs the South African Criminal Law Committee, said it was extremely likely Pistorius would be released after three years or even earlier.
He told The Sun Online: “They will normally serve half of a sentence but in South Africa there is a law which could see him released even before that. After you serve around a quarter of the sentence you can be taken back to court and your sentence be converted to correctional supervision.
“It will depend on if he does all the rehabilitation programs and is cooperative.”
With more than 25 years of legal experience behind him, Booth said: “The judge made a lot of the fact that he tried to apologise to the family but actual remorse is different. I don’t think he ever really accepted responsibility for what he did.”
Mike Hellens – who is a South African equivalent of a QC – told The Sun Online: “The judge was not clear in her judgement, but there is an argument that the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside the earlier conviction and the sentence and now this court has re-sentenced him and he is re-commencing a sentence he had begun to serve for the previous conviction.
“So, his lawyer could argue that he has done one year already and then he could be out in two and half years on straight parole.
“Or, according to this law, the prisons authorities could approach the judge in one year from now and ask her to reconsider the sentence and release him on correctional supervision, or house arrest.”
The six-year jail term was blasted by the ANC Womens League with the league’s Jacqui Mofokeng calling it “an embarrassment to the justice system of this country.”
Other members of the league who were in court said the decision was “a total insult” to women.