Oscar up for 2020 Olympics
Sascoc chief sees no reason athlete can’t take part after release
CONVICTED murderer Oscar Pistorius could be strapping on his blades again for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Sports controlling body SA Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee (Sascoc) looks set to welcome him with open arms when he’s released from prison. But some have greeted the prospect with rage.
In an interview with UK online publication MailOnline yesterday, Tubby Reddy, the Olympic body’s chief executive, said the disgraced athlete could play a part at the 2020 Tokyo Games as he would have “paid his debt” to society and would be free to take part. Reddy’s shock comment comes days after Pistorius was handed a six-year sentence by Judge Thokozile Masipa at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, after his original five-year conviction of culpable homicide was changed to murder on appeal last year.
Pistorius, 29, shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, four times through a locked bathroom door in February 2013.
Reddy told the publication he had “no problem” with the idea of the Blade Runner returning to the national team and representing his country at the highest level.
He added Pistorius may serve just one more year in jail, which would give him time to train and qualify for the Tokyo Games.
“He would have paid his debt to society and will be back in society, living as a normal South African citizen. There is no rule that says he wouldn’t be able to participate,” Reddy said.
“Yes, the sentence he has been given has divided opinion – there are those who are happy about it and there are those who are unhappy, and you will always have that.
“But if he is out on parole, as it seems he will be before then, and qualifies for selection, then I don’t see how there can be a problem – why not?
“He would have to train and get his mental strength back, but those are challenges he would have to settle for himself.”
When Weekend Argus sister title the Saturday Star contacted officials at the Olympic body yesterday, they refused to comment on the matter.
“Unfortunately we respond at the moment. cannot
“It will only be relevant once Oscar has been released from prison, so up until such a time, Sascoc will not be responding to such inquiries,” a Sascoc spokesperson said. Twitter responded in anger to the notion Pistorius’s career could be resurrected.
Lu Jacobs tweeted: “Tubby Reddy, CEO of South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee says he’ll welcome #OscarPistorius back for 2020. .”
Others mocked Pistorius, asking if it would be participation in the shooting codes, while @SA problems tweeted: “There will be riots in SA. I doubt he would even be considered.”
Legal expert Piet du Plessis said once Pistorius completed a year in jail, he would be allowed to return to court for the judge to consider house arrest, according to the Parole and Correctional Supervision Amendment Act 87 of 1997.
“Once he has done one year he is in the same position as the Waterkloof Four and can be referred back to the judge to consider house arrest.”
Authorities could allow house arrest to include permission to train as he was allowed to do in October.
“That was in fact his position after he was released having served 10 months.
“He has a track record of complying with all his conditions when previously released. I think he has a strong case for applying for this,” Du Plessis added.
Legal expert advocate Mannie Witz believed Pistorius would have to serve at least half his six-year jail sentence before applying for parole or correctional supervision.
“He will have to serve a minimum three years before he can become eligible for parole.
“And if he has problems within corrective services it would affect his release,” Witz said.
Legal expert Ulrich Roux agreed, adding parole would depend on several factors, including whether Pistorius completed rehabilitative programmes, his behavioural reports from prison officials, participation in official prison activities, assisting other inmates, the wishes of the Steenkamp family and their attitude to his release on parole, and any special interest or requests by other bodies with a definite interest. – Additional reporting
by Sheree Bega
‘He would have
Oscar Pistorius on the track in his heyday.