A "statement of agreed factual findings" filed in a Constitutional Court ruling in December, in favor of a man who contracted tuberculosis while imprisoned, gives insight into what could lie ahead for Pistorius.
The statement describes the conditions Dudley Lee endured in Cape Town's Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison -- where Nelson Mandela was once held -- before he was eventually acquitted and freed.
Prisoners going to court appearances were "stuffed into vans like sardines," it said. Holding cells at court were also "jam-packed." Meanwhile, conditions back at the prison were far from pleasant -- though ideal for the spread of disease.
Packed, smoky cells
The air inside the communal cells, locked down without cross-ventilation for up to 15 hours a day, was thick with cigarette smoke, the statement said. Even after Lee was diagnosed with TB, he was kept in a cell with other prisoners. He "begged, bullied and bribed" to get the medication he needed.
As a world-famous athlete, Pistorius has money to pay for good defense attorneys, unlike many in the South African justice system. He stated his annual income was 5.6 million rand ($631,000) at his bail hearing this week.
Nonetheless, his lawyers face an uphill battle on the bail issue, with South African law requiring evidence of "exceptional circumstances" to justify the release of defendants accused of premeditated murder.
If they fail, Pistorius could face several months on remand before his case goes to trial. And if convicted of premeditated murder, he would face 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
His lawyers will be trying to make sure that doesn't happen.