A bowed Oscar Pistorius during his trial. It is a year since he was put back in jail. File picture: Phill Magakoe/AP
Pretoria - “Your smile will see us again. God will heal what hurts. Stand strong as you remain my golden boy. You are one in a million.”

This is one of the several messages on social media from all over the world this week from members of the Support for Oscar group, as they commemorated a year since the Blade Runner had been put back in jail.

Oscar Pistorius returned to jail for a second time a year ago on Thursday (July 6) to start serving his six-year jail term for the Valentine's Day 2013 killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

While the media hype around the once golden boy’s incarceration has died down, his supporters have clearly not forgotten him.

Messages of encouragement were posted on social media throughout, but on special occasions, such as this week, the messages of support intensified.

“I am not asking you to be strong, my boy, because you have not been anything else. I beg you not to give up or lose faith,” another supporter wrote.

The message, in the form of a poem, ended with the encouragement that “the light will reach you once again. Please hold out until then,” the female fan urged.

While Correctional Services said Oscar was doing well in jail and adjusting to his circumstances, his advocate, Barry Roux, in papers filed with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, said the looming appeal by the State against Oscar’s “lenient” six-year term for murder is hanging like a sword over his head.

“On July 6, 2016, he returned to prison to commence serving the six-year jail sentence. Then the State applied for leave to appeal. Since then the respondent (Oscar) had to await the outcome of the present proceedings, further prolonging the agony caused by uncertainty,” Roux said.

Former chief prosecutor in the high-profile trial, Gerrie Nel, expressed his shock and dissatisfaction a year ago after Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Oscar for a second time - this time to a six-year jail sentence for murder.

This was soon followed by an application to the SCA, in which Nel vehemently objected to what he referred to as a severely lenient sentence.

The SCA earlier ordered that it would hear oral argument in this regard but the matter has been dragging for nearly a year now and the matter is yet to be heard.

Senior officials close to the case said they anticipated the appeal would be heard towards the end of this year.

With a year in jail under his belt, Oscar will have to remain behind bars for at least another two years - three in total of his six-year-jail term - before he can be considered for parole.

He served the first few months of his jail term at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria before he was transferred to a smaller prison in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, last year. Correctional Services at the time said it was more suitable to his needs as a double-amputee.

Roux said in court papers that it was accepted by the court that Oscar did not genuinely want to Kill Reeva in the early hours of the morning when he fired four shots into the toilet door of his Pretoria East mansion. Oscar maintained he believed there were intruders behind the door and that Reeva was still in bed at the time. Roux said his client had been punished enough for the tragic incident, which would haunt Oscar for the rest of his life.

While his fate is still uncertain, the only certainty is that he will celebrate his 30th birthday on November 22 behind bars.

Pretoria News