A spokesman for South Africa's justice ministry says a review board has up to four months to decide whether Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison into house arrest.

Justice ministry spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga also said Thursday that the department has not yet had a response from Pistorius' lawyers to Justice Minister Michael Masutha's decision to halt Pistorius' release.

Masutha put Pistorius' early release - scheduled for Friday - on hold, saying it was approved too soon. The justice ministry said it was approved eight months into his five-year prison sentence, when he should have served 10 months before even being considered for release.

Pistorius was convicted last year of manslaughter for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.