Olympic sprinter, Oscar Pistorious released from S’African prison 

5th January 2024

Oscar Pistorious

Oscar Pistorious. Photo: Sky Sport.

By Adekunle Sulaimon

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The double-amputee Paralympic and Olympic sprinter, Oscar Pistorius, was released from prison on parole on Friday, more than a decade after shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in a killing that shocked the world, CNN reports.

A parole board granted Pistorius’ petition in November on the grounds that he had served half of his 13-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp, making him eligible according to South African law.

A spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services, Singabakho Nxumalo, told CNN that Pistorius was released from Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, west of Pretoria, on Friday morning. He will be subject to parole conditions until his sentence expires in 2029.

In a statement Friday, Steenkamp’s mother said her only desire following Pistorius’ release is that she would be allowed to live her remaining years “in peace”.https://live.primis-amp.tech/content/video/amp/videoIframe.php?s=113240#amp=1

“There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back,” June Steenkamp said. “We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.”

Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door in his home in Pretoria on February 14, 2013. He has maintained that he did not kill her in a fit of anger during a Valentine’s Day argument, as prosecutors argued, and said instead he had mistaken her for an intruder.

During the trial, which garnered global attention, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and a firearms charge associated with Steenkamp’s killing.

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He was initially convicted of manslaughter in 2014 and sentenced to five years. But a higher court overturned the conviction and upgraded it to murder a year later, increasing his sentence to six years in prison.

The ruling was appealed by prosecutors who claimed the sentence was too lenient. Pistorius’ sentence was increased to 13 years and five months by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in 2017.

Pistorius became eligible for parole in March 2023, due to a law for inmates who have served half of their sentence and met conditions such as good behavior. The legislation is part of the country’s “Restorative Justice” process, which gives offenders the opportunity to “acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions.”

According to the DCS, Pistorius will complete the remainder of his sentence in the country’s community corrections system.

He will have to attend programs on gender-based violence and continue therapy sessions on anger management, Reuters reported, citing a lawyer for the Steenkamp family.

The DCS said in a statement Wednesday that “general parole conditions” will apply, including Pistorius being required to be home at particular hours of the day. He will not be allowed to consume alcohol or prohibited substances and will be required to participate in programs identified by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board.

“Just like other parolees, Pistorius is restricted from conducting media interviews,” the statement added.

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