Oscar Pistorius released on parole

  • By Daniel De Simone & Natasha Booty
  • BBC News, Atteridgeville Prison & London

image caption,

The athlete nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’ was jailed in 2016

Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius is set to be paroled after 11 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot Ms Steenkamp multiple times through a bathroom door on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after mistaking her for a burglar.

Pistorius, now 37, was sentenced to 13 years and 5 months in prison in 2016 by a South African court.

The parole board set him free on January 5, 2024.

Once he is released, Pistorius will be monitored by authorities until his sentence officially expires “like all parolees,” the Department of Correctional Services said Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family said he will also have to attend therapy sessions.

In a letter read to the parole board ahead of the verdict, Ms Steenkamp’s mother said she was not opposed to his release and wondered if Pistorius’s “huge anger issues” had really been resolved in prison, adding that he “might be worried about security”. Any woman” now communicates with him.

June Steenkamp said she did not want to attend Friday’s parole hearing at Atteridgeville prison near Pretoria: “I can’t muster the energy to face him again in this condition.”

Her husband and Reeva’s father, Barry, died earlier this year and she said the stress on both of them was immense.

“My dear Barry left this world completely devastated at the thought of failing to protect his daughter. I have no doubt that he died of a broken heart,” Ms Steenkamp’s statement read.

Barry Steenkamp had a face-to-face meeting with Oscar Pistorius last year as part of the rehabilitation process.

Mrs Steamkamp said that although she did not believe her daughter’s killer had shown remorse, she had decided to forgive him “because I knew for sure that I would not survive if I clung to my anger.”

This is Pistorius’ second parole hearing in less than a year.

His first parole attempt was blocked in March after he did not complete the minimum detention period. That was later ruled a mistake by South Africa’s Constitutional Court, leading to a parole hearing on Friday.

image source, Gallo pictures

image caption,

Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their Pretoria home 10 years ago.

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