The double-amputee Olympic runner’s wealth and fame was an advantage, allowing him to employ a high-powered legal team.
After Pistorius’s early prison release was denied this week, Mentoor has revealed that the athlete had a bath installed in his cell and a new bed after complaining about the previous one. “And they replaced his bed for him”.
Mr Mentoor added: “If you are a high-profile inmate, you are at risk because the other inmates and the gangsters within the correctional services will target you”.
A spokesman for South Africa’s justice ministry said the department has not yet received a response from Pistorius’s lawyers on the decision to halt his release. According to the South African Criminal Procedure Act, an offender must serve at least one-sixth of his sentence before he is eligible for early release.
Paralympic gold medallist Pistorius, 28, was due to be released into house arrest on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013.
“But at the last minute the justice minister, Michael Mathusa sent the case to the parole review board, suggesting there had been a mistake”.
In blocking Pistorius’ release, the justice department said he was approved for home correctional supervision by parole officials in June, only eight months into his sentence.
The parole review board – which includes three judges – “has four months” to evaluate and finalise the case, said justice ministry spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga.
Mofokeng told reporters she had exchanged text messages with June Steenkamp on Wednesday about the minister’s decision, which came as the family was marking what would have been Reeva’s 32nd birthday.
Pistorius’ family accepted the decision but was also considering their options, spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess told the AP.
Zac Modise, the head of South Africa’s prisons authority, gave evidence during hearings to determine Pistorius’s sentence for killing Steenkamp and insisted that he would be given everything he needed in prison.