Oscar Pistorius granted parole, this week marks Pistorius’ 37th birthday. He was arrested in late 2014 for the Valentine’s Day 2013 murder of model Reeva Steenkamp; however, he was freed in 2015 to spend time under house arrest while his case’s multiple appeals were being processed. In the end, he was found guilty of murder and given a 13-year, 5-month prison sentence.
Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole
PRETORIA, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee Olympic runner, was given parole on Friday, ten years after shooting his girlfriend through a toilet door at his house in South Africa in a killing that shocked the world.
Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, said Pistorius would be released on January 5. His parole will come with terms, such as not leaving the Pretoria region where he is supposed to live without permission from authorities. Pistorius will also be required to participate in a programme to address his anger issues, according to Nxumalo, as well as complete community service.
The parole requirements for Pistorius will remain in effect for five years, according to the Department of Corrections. “Parole does not mean the sentence is over. It is still included in the sentence. “It simply means that the inmate will serve the remainder of his sentence outside of a correctional facility,” Nxumalo explained.
Pistorius, 37, has been in prison since late 2014 for the Valentine’s Day 2013 murder of model Reeva Steenkamp, though he was released for a period of home arrest in 2015 while one of his several appeals was heard. He was eventually found guilty of murder and sentenced to 13 years and 5 months in jail.
In South Africa, serious offenders must serve at least half of their sentence before being eligible for parole, which Pistorius has done. When he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius was at the pinnacle of his fame and one of the world’s most admired athletes. He shot her numerous times with his licenced 9mm pistol in the toilet of his Pretoria villa in the early morning hours.
Pistorius’ parole hearing on Friday was his second in eight months. At his initial hearing in March, he was incorrectly declared ineligible for early release. This was owing to an error committed by an appeals court in determining when the sentence formally began.
For killing Steenkamp, Pistorius was initially convicted of culpable homicide, a charge similar to manslaughter. After an appeal by prosecutors, his verdict was reversed, and he was found guilty of murder. They also appealed a six-year sentence for murder, and Pistorius was eventually sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.
At his murder trial, Pistorius said that he killed Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder lurking in his toilet in the middle of the night when he fired four times through the door with his licenced 9mm pistol.
Prosecutors claimed that Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and reality TV personality, escaped to the toilet cubicle during a late-night altercation, and Pistorius killed her in a fit of rage.
Pistorius was subsequently convicted of murder based on a legal term known as dolus eventualis, which says he acted recklessly and should have known that whoever was behind the door would almost certainly be murdered. It’s the same as third-degree murder.
Barry Steenkamp, Steenkamp’s father, died in September. June Steenkamp, her mother, did not object to Pistorius’ parole. Rob Matthews, a South African man whose 21-year-old daughter was murdered in 2004 and who became a friend of the Steenkamp family.
Read out a statement from June Steenkamp outside the prison before the hearing in which she said she was not opposing his parole and didn’t attend the hearing because “I simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage.”
However, “I do not believe Oscar’s version that he thought the person in the toilet was a burglar,” June Steenkamp stated in a statement. “In fact, I don’t know anyone who does.” My dearest kid screamed for her life. I believe he realised it was Reeva.”
While on parole, Pistorius is scheduled to live at his uncle’s lavish property in a wealthy Pretoria neighbourhood, where he stayed during his murder trial.
Pistorius was initially detained at Pretoria’s central prison, a notorious apartheid-era facility. He was transferred to the city’s Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in 2016.
Over the last decade, there have only been a few glimpses of Pistorius’ existence behind bars. His father has stated that he has been holding bible courses for fellow inmates, but there have also been flashes of problems, including an incident between Pistorius and another inmate over a prison phone that required medical care.
Steenkamp was murdered when Pistorius was at the pinnacle of his celebrity, just months after becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.
He was also a Paralympic sprinting champion and one of the sport’s most marketable figures, having overcome amputation of both his legs below the knee as a newborn to run on specially made carbon-fiber blades.
During his dramatic trial, prosecutors suggested that there was another side to Pistorius’ existence that encompassed guns and heated clashes with others. Pistorius was also found guilty of a second charge of recklessly shooting a gun at a restaurant.