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Pistorius granted new privileges in Pretoria jail

media Oscar Pistorius in court during his trial for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp Reuters/Herman Verwey/Pool

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who is serving a five-year jail sentence for the manslaughter of his lover, has been granted new privileges. Pistorius becomes eligible for release to house-arrest in August but the state is appealing against his acquittal for murder.

At Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria, where the double amputee is in special accommodation, Pistorius has been upgraded to category A inmate from category B.

The prison authorities have decided he poses little threat to security.

This means he is allowed more visitors and may hug and kiss them, wear jewellery, keep a radio in his cell and make more personal telephone calls.

He is also allowed to have a hobby and may spend more money on toiletries and snacks.

The family of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot and killed two years ago, are reportedly unhappy about the development.

Her uncle, Mike Steenkamp, says the correctional services department evidently has a short memory about what Pistorius did.

Pistorius admits shooting Steenkamp but says he mistook her for an intruder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa found his firing through a closed bathroom door amounted to culpable homicide.

A Pistorius family source say his new status has boosted the jailed athlete’s spirits.

His most frequent visitors are his brother Carl and sister Aimee.

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