Screams af­ter di­rec­tor’s death

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BEHR SHANICE NAIDOO To page 2

OS­CAR Pis­to­rius has ap­plied to be re­leased tem­po­rar­ily from his Pre­to­ria prison next week to at­tend his grand­fa­ther’s me­mo­rial ser­vice, lead­ing to ques­tions about pref­er­en­tial treat­ment for the for­mer ath­lete.

This fol­lows con­fir­ma­tion three weeks ago by a fam­ily mem­ber that Pis­to­rius was strug­gling with the news that his 101-year-old grand­fa­ther Hen­drik Pis­to­rius had died from ill health in the early hours of Oc­to­ber 19.

Pis­to­rius’s at­ten­dance was con­firmed by a fam­ily mem­ber who supplied the venue and the date on con­di­tion that it be kept pri­vate.

How­ever, asked for con­fir­ma­tion, De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices spokesper­son Singabakho Nx­u­malo said: “An ap­pli­ca­tion has been made by an in­mate but not yet con­sid­ered by the head of cen­tre.

“He has to con­sider a num­ber of fac­tors be­fore an in­mate is tem­po­rar­ily placed out of a cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity as that car­ries risks.”

How­ever, an­other source close to Pis­to­rius, also speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said he would be at­tend­ing the me­mo­rial ser­vice at an ex­clu­sive Pre­to­ria venue.

Pis­to­rius is serv­ing a 13-year sen­tence at At­teridgeville Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre for the 2013 mur­der of his girl­friend Reeva Steenkamp.

He turns 32 on Novem­ber 22 and is likely to be­come el­i­gi­ble for pa­role around 2023.

Amid ac­cu­sa­tions that the re­lease in­di­cates pref­er­en­tial treat­ment of Pis­to­rius, Nx­u­malo said: “In Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices, all in­mates are the same and must be treated equally.

“In­mates are en­cour­aged to be­have ac­cord­ingly and must re­spond pos­i­tively to cor­rec­tional pro­grammes and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“Th­ese are just some of the fac­tors which are con­sid­ered when an in­mate is to be tem­po­rar­ily placed out for a par­tic­u­lar func­tion.”

This was con­firmed by a Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices source who added that the me­dia’s im­age of Pis­to­rius does not tally with the in­mate who has proved to be “hum­ble and car­ing”.

“The Os­car I’ve come to know in jail is kind-hearted and cares for his fel­low in­mates. He buys food for those who can’t af­ford it or those who are far away from their rel­a­tives. And he does this with­out ask­ing for any­thing in re­turn.”

“Os­car also doesn’t deny what he did and shows re­morse every day with­out fak­ing it or to ma­nip­u­late peo­ple’s opin­ions. This is the side he shows in jail and peo­ple should stop judg­ing him.”

Pis­to­rius al­legedly keeps a low pro­file in prison where he did not en­joy any pref­er­en­tial treat­ment, said the source.

“He likes his pri­vacy and spends a lot of his time read­ing and vis­it­ing the prison li­brary. He’s a real book­worm.” A WOMAN’S screams of, “Oh my god, my boyfriend is dead. There is blood all over the place”, echoed through an apart­ment build­ing in Buiten­gracht Street. At about 9am on Wed­nes­day, neigh­bour Dra­gan Ku­ru­zovic tweeted what hap­pened when John Cur­ran, the out­go­ing di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion for Mel­lon Ed­u­cate in South Africa, was found dead in his flat.

Ku­ru­zovic tweeted he was wo­ken when a woman be­lieved to be Cur­ran’s girl­friend found his body and started scream­ing she had found him dead about 10 times. He said po­lice ar­rived and ex­am­ined the footage of se­cu­rity cam­eras, in which they saw a man hid­ing his face as he moved through the apart­ment build­ing.

“I hon­estly heard peo­ple come home last night late (Tues­day), like 3.30am or so. Doors bang­ing closed. But there are lots of tourists in my block and they’re of­ten jollers or are by the pool be­cause of time zones, but now I’m won­der­ing if I heard some­thing more,” his tweet con­tin­ued.

Mel­lon Ed­u­cate, an Ire­land-based African de­vel­op­ment char­ity, has con­firmed Cur­ran was found dead. Po­lice said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of mur­der.

Cur­ran had just com­pleted a twoyear con­tract with the group and was on hol­i­day in Cape Town for a num­ber of weeks. Ir­ish me­dia re­ported that he

AYANDA NDAMANE African News Agency (ANA)

Bl­itzbokke player Ri­aan O’Neil tack­les aspir­ing Sev­ens player and pupil Ty­rone Gombi dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion at De Hoop Pri­mary School in Som­er­set West. |

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