Oscar didn't get special treatment - correctional services

December 1, 2015, 3:21pm

The cell in which Oscar Pistorius stayed during his time in prison. (Photo supplied)

Karabo Ngoepe, News24

Pretoria - Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was not given special treatment while in at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison, the Department of Correctional Services said on Tuesday.

“Oscar Pistorius did not receive any preferential treatment while he was under our care. We have a duty to ensure that an inmate is not assaulted, raped or victimised. He was entitled to the same conditions while he was in our care,” acting regional commissioner of Gauteng Mandla Mkabela told reporters.

“He was the first double-amputee inmate we had in our department. We never gave him special treatment but we treated him according to his needs.”

Journalists were given a tour around the prison and got a chance to see Pistorius’s cell as well as that of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. The cells are next to each other in the hospital wing of the facility.

The department told journalists it wanted them to see prison conditions for themselves and to get a better understanding of the dynamics involved.

“We have realised that some of the reports are not from an informed position. It was also important for the media to have an understanding of what we do, our operations and programmes.

“We also realised that Kgosi Mampuru almost became Oscar Mampuru, we wanted to go back to the real name.

“High-profile offenders come and go and it’s not just about one offender. We really can’t spend our energy and focus on one offender. Today [the tour] was not about Oscar or Krejcir,” said Mkabela.

There were media reports alleging Pistorius was given preferential treatment while he was incarcerated but the department said that was not so.

Pistorius spent almost a year behind bars for shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. He claimed that he had mistaken her for an intruder. He was released under house arrest in October.

On October 21, 2014, Pistorius was sentenced to five years for shooting Steenkamp dead. He was granted parole after serving a sixth of his sentence.

The double-amputee track star was sentenced to a further three years, suspended for five years, for firing a shot at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013.