Oscar Pistorius was criticised by prosecution lawyers for apparently being too ill and depressed to face cross-examination at his sentencing hearing.
JOHANNESBURG – Former Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was granted compassionate leave to attend the funeral of his late grandmother‚ Joyce Bekker.
Pistorius was released for a few hours on Wednesday morning to join his family in bidding farewell to his grandmother.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed to eNCA.com that Pistorius was granted the leave and had been back to his prison cell at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
“He was back by 13:20,” he said.
“Offenders have to apply for permission for compassionate leave to attend a funeral of a direct family member. Pistorius applied and was granted permission,” said Nxumalo.
He said the former paralympian was accompanied by prison officials to the funeral.
Pistorius is serving a six-year sentence for the murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.
Nxumalo added compassionate leave can also be granted to inmates if a direct family member is suffering from a serious illness and may be thought to be dying.
He said factors taken into consideration before approving leave include behaviour and conduct.
“There is a risk element involved. Permission may be granted to inmates considered medium to low risk, but if an inmate is considered high risk, chances are they would not be granted permission because of risk factors such as escaping,” said Nxumalo.