Pistorius was sent Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria on Saturday, 7 August, with injuries to his wrists. A source at Kgosi Mampuru II prison told City Press the athlete, who was jailed for murdering his girlfriend, had injured himself on purpose and that blades were found in his cell.

This version of events was corroborated by an inmate who said the cuts were caused by Pistorius at around 12pm on Saturday, 7 August. A security guard said: "He had bad cuts on his wrists and the doctors kept wrapping bandages around them," according to South African website City Press.

At the hospital, Pistorius was said to have been guarded by more than 10 warders, and has since been returned to jail.

The South African was sentenced to six years' jail time for killing Reeva Steenkamp,by shooting her at his home on Valentine's Day in 2012. He claimed to have thought she was a home invader.

Judge Thokozile Masipa described the convicted murderer as a "fallen hero and broken man" who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The judge also told the court that Pistorius was suffering from serious mental health issues ever since he killed Steenkamp.

A psychologist's report for his murder trial said Pistorius was at risk of committing suicide and "his condition is likely to worsen" if he did not receive professional help.

In July, prosecutors in South Africa have said they would appeal against the 29-year-old's six-year sentence, believing it to be too lenient. The African National Congress Women's League condemned it as an "insult to women".

In a letter endorsed by 200 other organisations, the ANCWL urged the government to intercede. "How do those on the parole board sleep at night?" said spokeswoman Jacqui Mofokeng.

Pistorius could be released on parole after serving just three years in prison. In South Africa, the minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, although a judge can lessen that penalty in some circumstances, according to AP.