South Africa’s Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, has stopped Oscar Pistorius’ intended release on parole 10 months after the former Paralympian was sentenced to five years in jail for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Mr. Pistorius was billed to be released Friday after serving just a sixth of his term.
South African law allows a convict to be released, to complete a term at home, after serving a sixth of his sentence in what is called “correctional supervision”.
The prison parole board had permitted Pistorius’ release.
Mr. Pictorius was to be moved, Friday, to his uncle’s three-storey mansion in the capital, Pretoria.
In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Musatha said the decision by the prison’s parole board to release Pistorius was too swift, hence illegal, adding that it was taken long before Pistorius served a sixth of his jail term.
“One sixth of a five-year sentence is 10 months and at the time the decision was made Mr. Pistorius had served only over six months of his sentence,” he stated.
“It is therefore clear that there is no legal basis upon which such a decision was made”, the statement noted.
The statement said the government decided to stop the release after a group, Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa, protested Pistorius’ release.
Anonymous family source told Reuters news agency that they were shocked at the decision of Mr. Musatha, as the family had planned a low key welcome for Mr. Pistorius.
Ms. Steenkamp’ would have been 32 years old on August 20, 2015.