Oscar Pistorius: Double amputee Olympic runner granted parole 10 years after shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at South Africa home

Double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole 10 years after shooting his girlfriend through a toilet door at his home in South Africa in a killing that jolted the world.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Pistorius would be released from prison on January 5.

His parole will come with conditions, including that he not leave the area of Pretoria where he is set to live without permission from authorities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pistorius will also attend a programme to deal with his anger issues, Mr Nxumalo said, and will have to perform community service. The parole conditions will be in place for five years, the Department of Corrections said.

Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole. Picture: Getty ImagesFormer Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole. Picture: Getty Images
Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole. Picture: Getty Images

"Parole does not mean the end of the sentence, it is still part of the sentence,” Mr Nxumalo said. “It only means the inmate will complete the sentence outside a correctional facility."

Pistorius, who turned 37 this week, has been in jail since late 2014 for the Valentine's Day 2013 killing of model Reeva Steenkamp in Pretoria, although he was released for a period of house arrest in 2015 while one of the numerous appeals in his case was heard.

He was ultimately convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.

Serious offenders in South Africa must serve at least half of their sentence to be eligible for parole, which Pistorius has done.

Pistorius was at the height of his fame and one of the world's most admired athletes when he killed Ms Steenkamp. He shot her multiple times in the bathroom of his villa in the early hours with his licensed 9mm pistol.

Pistorius testified at his murder trial that he killed Ms Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a dangerous intruder hiding in his bathroom in the middle of the night when he fired four times through the door with his licensed 9mm pistol.

Prosecutors argued Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and reality TV star, had fled to the toilet cubicle during a late-night argument and Pistorius killed her in a rage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pistorius was eventually convicted of murder on a legal principle known as dolus eventualis, which means he acted with extreme recklessness and should have known that whoever was behind the door would likely be killed.

Rob Matthews, a South African man whose 21-year-old daughter was murdered in 2004 and who became a Steenkamp family friend, read out a statement from Ms Steenkamp's mother June Steenkamp outside the prison in which she said she was not opposing his parole and did not attend the hearing because "I simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage".

"I do not believe Oscar's version that he thought the person in the toilet was a burglar," June Steenkamp said in the statement. "In fact, I do not know anybody who does. My dearest child screamed for her life ... I believe he knew it was Reeva."

Pistorius was initially sent to Pretoria's central prison, a notorious apartheid-era jail. He was moved to the city's Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in 2016.

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.