The decision to release Oscar Pistorius a day earlier than planned was not preferential treatment, the Department of Correctional Services said on Tuesday.
“This is not the only case where this has happened. It has happened before,” spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said.
He said the implementation of the parole board’s decision to release him was up to the prison’s management.
The parole board decided that Pistorius would be released into correctional supervision on Tuesday, it was announced last Thursday.
Instead he was snuck out of Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on Monday night. The former paralympic athlete’s lawyer Brian Webber told the Citizen he was home shortly after 22:00.
He was expected to serve out the rest of his sentence at the Waterkloof, Pretoria, home of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius.
Next month the State will ask the Supreme Court of Appeal to set aside Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction, and replace it with the more serious charge of murder.
On October 21 last year, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail for shooting Steenkamp dead on Valentine’s Day in 2013. He was eligible to be released into correctional supervision after serving out one-sixth, or 10 months, of his sentence.