SOMERSET WEST, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius was taken from prison to a hospital Thursday for medical examinations and will be kept at the facility overnight amid South African media reports that the former track star and convicted murderer was suffering from chest pains.
Pistorius was taken to the hospital Thursday morning and was expected to return to the prison later the same day, Department of Corrections spokesman Logan Maistry told press. However, Pistorius will now stay overnight in the hospital “for observation,” Maistry said.
Maistry declined to give details of Pistorius’ medical complaint, citing department rules preventing the divulging of information on offenders. He said only that Pistorius was having “medical examinations.”
Reports claimed Pistorius was suffering from chest pains and was taken from Atteridgeville Prison to the emergency department at Kalafong Hospital in the South African capital Pretoria by ambulance, and escorted by armed guards.
Maistry declined to comment on the reports, while a spokesman for Pistorius didn’t immediately return a phone call from press agencies seeking comment.
Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner and multiple Paralympic champion, is serving a six-year jail term for murder in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. He has served a year of his sentence.
The 30-year-old Pistorius was first imprisoned at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in central Pretoria but was moved to Atteridgeville because it was better suited to handle disabled inmates.
This is the second time Pistorius has left jail for a hospital visit. Last year he was taken to the hospital for treatment to cuts on his wrists, which prison authorities said he sustained after falling in his cell.
Pistorius was convicted of murder after an appeal by prosecutors against an initial manslaughter verdict. He killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013 by shooting her multiple times through a toilet cubicle door at his Pretoria home. Pistorius claimed he mistook his girlfriend for a nighttime intruder hiding in the cubicle.
Prosecutors have announced their intention to appeal again, this time against Pistorius’ six-year sentence, which they say is too lenient. The National Prosecuting Authority said it will appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court, and the appeal could be heard this year. Pistorius faces having his sentence increased to 15 years if prosecutors are successful. There is no death penalty in South Africa.