The 29 year-old former Paralympian – who is serving six years for his crime – was allowed out of his maximum security prison for four hours last Friday, under armed guard, for the celebration of Gerti Pistorius’s life.
The shamed Olympian was given ‘compassionate leave’ to attend the event as he is considered ‘low risk’ by management at KgosiMampuru jail, where he is serving six years for murder his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The sprinter was one of Mrs Pistorius’ 26 grandchildren.
A source close to the family confirmed the double amputee was “devastated” to hear of the death of the 93 year-old he called ‘Oumi’, and immediately applied for permission to attend her memorial service, which was held at a plush hotel just a few miles from his cramped cell.
His ‘good conduct and behaviour’ was a factor in authorities granting his compassionate leave, according to Manelisi Wolela from South Africa’s correctional services department.
An elite team of armed prison guards accompanied Pistorius to Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel, in the capital Pretoria, at 8am last Friday.
They continued to flank the track star throughout the private service and gathering afterwards, before whisking him back to the overcrowded jail at midday.
As news of Pistorius’ leave emerged, reaction appeared predominantly negative amid accusations that the athlete’s ‘white privilege’ and status had led to him getting special treatment.