Women's league resents special treatment to Pistorious

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 14:00 hrs

Johannesburg, Feb 21 (IANS) The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) Thursday demanded an explanation as to why murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius is "getting special" treatment from the law enforcement agency.

Pistorius is being allowed to stay in the Brooklyn police station holding cells instead of prison, unlike others awaiting trial or awaiting bail, Xinhua reports.

Pistorius, charged with killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp Feb 14, the Valentine's Day, appeared at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court Thursday for the third day, awaiting ruling on his bail application. The double amputee has denied that he murdered Steenkamp.

"If there is some special circumstance that permits this, authorities must share this with the public as they are setting a bad precedent. All should be treated equally before the law no matter your standing in society," ANCWL head of communications Troy Martens said in a statement.

"We would like to register our dissatisfaction at this special treatment that Pistorius is getting and would like prosecutors to take this issue up," she added.

Unlike other alleged offenders who are in prison, Pistorius's family members are permitted to visit him at all hours not just prescribed visiting hours as would be the case in prison, according to the ANCWL.

The ANCWL said if Pistorius is denied bail, he must be moved to a proper prison facility with others accused of similar crimes.

"A strong message must be sent out that wealth and celebrity cannot give you an advantage over the law," Martens said.

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