Jean-Jacques Cornish

Pistorius could leave jail by August

Iconic South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius could be moved from prison in August, ten months after being found guilty of the manslaughter of his covergirl lover Reeva Steenkamp.

Her parents have issued a statement through their lawyer saying they’ve forgiven Pistorius but ít sends the wrong message to allow him to leave jail so soon to complete his five year sentence under house arrest.

South African correctional services officials, who saw parole officers last week, recommended that Oscar Pistorius be allowed to complete his sentence under correctional supervision.

This would have him serve the remainder of his five-year sentence, without the chance of parole, under house arrest.

It means he would not be able to leave the home determined by the court and parole officers could check on him at any time.

The announcement eclipsed all other news items in South Africa where public opinion has moved sharply against the double amputee who claims he killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 believing she was an intruder.

His release from prison could be as early as August 21, two days after what would have been Reeva’s birthday.

It is also three months before the appeal by the prosecution comes to court.

They’re seeking to have Pistorius found guilty of murder.

It this succeeds, he could find himself behind bars for a longer sentence.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.