Oscar Pistorius parole bid collapses in South Africa

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Oscar Pistorius’s bid for parole collapsed in South Africa after it was revealed he had not yet served enough time to qualify for early release.

The 36-year-old former Paralympian is serving 13 years for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

The parole board met to hear evidence, including from Pistorius and Ms Steenkamp’s mother.

But instead of giving a decision afterwards, embarrassed officials admitted their timings had been wrong.

Earlier this week, they had received, but ignored, a letter from South Africa’s top appeals court, which explained that Pistorius needed to spend another year and a half in prison before he could be considered for parole.

The hearing at Atteridgeville prison, a low-security facility in rolling fields just outside the city of Pretoria, should never have happened.

For weeks, officials had insisted the amputee former sprinter was eligible to apply for parole, having served half his sentence.

The confusion stems from the fact that Pistorius’s time in prison has been broken up by appeals and by a period of house arrest.

There is disagreement about where to draw the halfway line.

Pistorius’s family have expressed dismay and are seeking legal clarification.

It has been an emotional day for the Steenkamp family, who have welcomed the fact that Pistorius will not be yet be freed.