Oscar Pistorius’ release to attend his grandmother’s memorial service has sparked off rage and serious criticisms on social media.
On the 9th of October, Aimee Pistorius, Oscar’s sister shared the sad loss of Gerti, her 92-year old grandmother.
Report says that the convicted grandson of the diseased was granted a 4-hour release to attend the memorial service with his family.
As a matter of concessional leave, Oscar’s request to attend the memorial was granted. He was released by 8am and he reportedly returned by noon.
See Also: Oscar Pistorius’ Grandmother Dies At
Singabakho Nxumalo, the Correctional Department Spokesman, said:
“The funeral was scheduled for Friday‚ 14 October 2016. This request was processed in accordance with the Departmental Policy on Amenities of Inmates,”
“Compassionate leave is granted for the attendance of funerals and/or a serious sickness where it is expected that the person is dying,”
“This concession is only granted when it concerns a direct family member (father‚ mother‚ child‚ spouse‚ brother‚ sister‚ grandfather and grandmother).”
According to Nxumalo, the concessional policy was instituted as a form of encouragement to inmates to be of good behavior while serving time in confinement.
Putting it clearly, this implies that Oscar has so far been of good behavior as confirmed by Manelisi Wolela, from the correctional services department. The department says they considered him “low risk” before letting him go.
Oscar however did not attend the funeral all alone, he was accompanied by armed prison guards.
Oscar Pistorius’ release has been seriously criticized on social media. Many have considered the act racist and a mark of “white privilege” in South Africa.
Everything about Oscar’s case has been controversial. Many refused to accept that he is serving a commensurate time in prison for the death of his girlfriend.
Just like the judge in charge of his case, the prison authorities have been blasted for granting Oscar Pistorius’ release to attend his grandmother’s memorial service.
Some pointed out on social media that many inmates have been denied release to attend immediate family members’ funerals.
In defense of Oscar Pistorius’ release, it could be recalled that the track star lost his mother at a young age. Thus was raised by his grandparents. Oscar was very close to Gerti as she took the place of his birth mother after her death.
Report says that the convicted 29-year old always kept in touch with Gerti and her 99-year old husband, Hendrik, using his limited ration of phone calls. This was another factor aside his good behavior that earned him the privilege.
Regardless of the above fact, many still find it unfair that he was released when many others will never have that opportunity