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IPC: Oscar Pistorius 'free to compete'

The IPC has announced Oscar Pistorius will be free to compete professionally once he’s served his punishment.

Oscar Pistorius poses with photographs with a national flag after winning gold in the men’s 400m - T44 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on 8 September, 2012. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that Oscar Pistorius will be free to compete once he has served any punishment meted out for his crime.

The High Court in Pretoria has convicted the blade runner of culpable homicide, for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The case has been postponed for a month, when the athlete will return to court for sentencing.

The IPC's Craig Spence says Pistorius will be free to compete professionally provided he serves his sentence and the South African International Paralympic Committee selects him.

He says The IPC cannot deny the gold medallist the right to compete because the committee is not responsible for the punishment, as decided by South African courts.

Watch: Pistorius cleared of murder charges

Between 2008 and 2012 Pistorius was an ambassador of the Paralympic movement.

The IPC's Xavier Gonzalez says his murder trial has not had any impact on their activities because they found other ambassadors and globally recognised athletes.

Meanwhile in Port Elizabeth (PE), Reeva's hometown, members of the community have urged her family to challenge the judgement, believing Judge Thokozile Masipa erred in her ruling.

Residents say the blade runner knew exactly what he was doing when he fired shots at a closed door.

Watch: Reeva Steenkamp's hometown in shock

One man says the athlete is experienced with firearms and must take responsibility for his actions.

"He's got guns, he's got a license, he knew what he was doing. As far as I am concerned, I think he got away with murder."

At the same time, another man believes Pistorius has been lying to the court.

"It might have legally been the correct decision but I don't think it was the right decision."

The community is now anxiously waiting to hear whether Judge Masipa will still send Pistorius to jail for culpable homicide next month.

Watch: Oscar Pistorius granted bail extension

For more on the trial, click here, or visit the live Oscar Pistorius blog, click here.