Washington: Paralympics runner Oscar Pistorius, who starts his five-year sentence at Pretoria's Central Prison, would urgently need to study the lore and laws of South Africa's numbers gangs as the double-amputee athlete is reportedly under a death threat from the gangs.
More than a century old, the gangs -the 26s, 27s and 28s, dominate South Africa's prison system with a mixture of arcane mythology, sexual intimidation and sometimes extreme violence, and Pistorius, who is serving his sentence for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead on Valentines Day last year, would quickly have to learn how to navigate through the darkest corners of jailhouse anthropology.
Pistorius' life might depend on it. According to his lawyers he has already had a death threat from the 'general' of the 26s, who is reported to be a murderer serving a 33-year sentence, Sky News reported.
Pistorius' lawyer revealed that if the Paralympian is given special treatment then he would die. Although this might have been part of the plea for leniency, it's also a real danger.
Pistorius would most likely remain in a segregated part of the prison, which also accommodates the mass killer of the apartheid regime, Eugene de Kock. If not, the Blade Runner might have to seek the protection of the 28s or 27s from the threat made by the leader of the 26s.
Pistorius is serving a five-year jail term for culpable homicide of his girlfriend Steenkamp, who he had said that he mistook for an intruder in his Pretoria home, the report added.