Former Paralympic champion, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison after nearly a decade behind bars for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, after winning his case at a parole board hearing.
The double amputee South African athlete shot and killed his partner on Valentine’s Day 2013, and was jailed for 13 years for her murder in 2016. Pistorius, now 36, claimed he thought she was an intruder and the shooting was a tragic mistake.
Today, he was granted parole and will be released on January 5, said South Africa’s Department of Corrections.
He will be given therapy for anger management and will remain under supervision without being able to leave the area of Waterkloof, where he will be staying with family, for five years.
Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said: “Parole does not mean the end of the sentence. It is still part of the sentence. It only means the inmate will complete the sentence outside a correctional facility.
He added: “The conditions, what’s important about them, is that they are there to assist an inmate to adjust, and also to address if there are still other areas that require attention.”
Other conditions attached to the release state when Pistorius has to be at home and when he can work. They will also stop him from consuming alcohol and drugs, the Mr Nxumalo said.
Rob Matthews, spokesperson for Ms Steenkamp’s mother June, addessed the media after the decision. He said: “The parole board are of the opinion that he met the criteria for release on parole and I believe June will be fine with that, but I can’t read inside her mind, I can only interpret what she said.”
“My personal opinion is that part of the road to rehabilitation is acknowledging what you have done and being accountable for what you have done and being man enough to say ‘I’ve done it’, and all the consequences that go with it, not just lip service because it’s easy to say sorry when you’ve been caught.”
Today’s hearing was the 37-year-old’s second bid for parole after a hearing in March wrongly ruled him ineligible for early release due to an error over when his prison sentence officially started.
Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide, a charge comparable to manslaughter for killing his girlfriend in 2013, before that conviction was overturned.
However, he was convicted of murder after an appeal by prosecutors and jailed for six years in 2016, before, the following year, that sentence was extended to 13 years and five months.