Oscar Pistorius relying on visitors’ loose change to buy baked beans in prison shop

The paralympian also wants to set up a basketball programme with fellow inmates

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The Independent Online

Jailed former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is relying on cash donations from visitors to buy baked beans in his South African prison.

In an interview with South Africa’s You magazine, the sprint-runner’s brother Carl Pistorius revealed the Paralympian was living “moment by moment” behind bars in Kgosi Mampuru prison.

As an athlete Pistorius kept a careful watch on his diet. He now supplements his prison food with extras such as tinned pilchards and baked beans from the prison tuck shop.

Unable to earn money in prison, he relies on loose change donations from visitors to buy the extras.

The 28-year-old paralympian’s brother also revealed that Pistorius wanted to set up a basketball programme with his fellow inmates.

“He asked family members to donate balls, rather than buy him gifts for his birthday,” he said. “He is still waiting for permission from the area commissioner of correctional services to start it.”

Prison authorities have also drawn up a rehabilitation programme for the athlete, which his brother says he has found stimulating.

“He's encountering many beautiful stories from prisoners. There are people there who have committed crimes but whose lives have changed,” said Carl, who works as a mining consultant and a part-time car dealer.

The athlete does not have a private shower room, his brother added, and wears standard prison uniform. The new details revealed in the interview appear to be an attempt to dampen suspicions that Pistorius is getting special treatment in prison.

The athlete’s brother is growing his beard in protest of the decision by authorities not to allow Pistorius to serve out his sentence under home arrest.

His sister Aimee coordinates visits to the prison, and has created a WhatsApp group message to keep his large family informed about any news.

Pistorius is confined to his cells for 17 hours a day. The athlete is serving five years for shooting his girlfriend, having been found guilty of culpable homicide.