Pistorius spends first night in prison’s hospital wing

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Oscar Pistorius has spent his first night in a single cell in the hospital wing of a prison in the South African capital Pretoria, said a prison official.

Pistorius seemed confused and tired when he entered the Kgosi Mampuru facility, prison commissioner Zebilon Monama told the South African Press Association.

Mr Monama said Pistorius was tense as wardens took his fingerprints and the prison chaplain met him soon after his prison number was issued.

“After he saw the chaplain our psychologist went to see him just to try to talk to him,” said Mr Monama.

Pistorius had a medical examination before being locked in his cell in a separate wing of the prison where the double amputee Paralympian joins eight other inmates with disabilities and will be under routine 24-hour observations with two nurses on duty.

Correctional services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said in a statement. “Now the hospital section of the centre accommodates two offenders with prosthetic legs, two blind offenders and five offenders on wheelchairs.”

Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison after he was found guilty of culpable homicide for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Throughout his trial and sentencing Pistorius maintained that he mistook the model and qualified lawyer for an intruder when he shot her through the bathroom door, with his defence arguing that the gold medallist’s physical disability had made him particularly paranoid.

South Africa’s prisons house an average of 128 disabled prisoners each year, less than one per cent of the country’s total 157,000 prison population, according to the department of correctional services.

The country’s prisons came under scrutiny during Pistorius’s sentencing hearing as the defence team argued that conditions were unfit for persons with disabilities while the prosecutors maintained that the state had all the necessary facilities for physically impaired prisoners.