It’s been two years since Oscar Pistorius shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. While the former Olympian sprinter finds himself in jail, recent reports suggest that life for Pistorius isn’t too difficult.
After being convicted of culpable homicide, the sprinter was sentenced to five years in prison in October. However, Pistorius isn’t expected to serve his full sentence in jail, and he could be home after 10 months, where he will serve the rest of his time under house arrest.
Just before the two-year anniversary of Steenkamp’s death, an official at Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria, where Pistorius is being held, told South Africa's Eyewitness News that Pistorius is “treated like royalty.” The source said the double-amputee receives preferential treatment because the department would be embarrassed if anything happened to him. Guards have reportedly done whatever they can to make sure the 28-year-old isn’t in a position to be assaulted, and he spends much of his time alone, which he prefers.
Not only does Pistorius get to stay away from the other inmates, but he was just afforded a few new privileges. According to MailOnline, Pistorius has been upgraded from a category B prisoner to category A status. The change allows Pistorius to pursue a hobby and have a radio in his cell. He’s also seen his prison allowance risen by 50 percent, allowing him to buy toiletries, chocolate, and carbonated beverages.
Pistorius also received an upgrade in his visiting privileges. Previously, he had just been able to talk to friends and family members through a glass window. Now, the prisoner can be in the same room as his visitors, and the “no-touching” policy is no longer in place. He’s been allotted three hours of visits per month, compared to the two hours that he was previously given.
It isn’t just his fame that has helped Pistorius receive such good treatment. He’s reportedly been a model prisoner during his short stint in jail.
Pistorius avoided a murder conviction, claiming he thought it was an intruder who he was shooting when he fired a gun at his bathroom door. A judge ruled that he didn’t intentionally kill his girlfriend, but despite his current sentence, it’s possible Pistorius could be in prison for much of his remaining years.
Nearly two months after his prison sentence began, Judge Thokozile Masipa granted prosecutors the right to appeal her ruling. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Velekhaya Mgobhozi recently announced that Pistorius’ lawyers were notified that the prosecution will appeal the culpable homicide ruling and seek a harsher conviction.