Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been released on parole from a South African prison, marking nearly 11 years since the tragic murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Authorities have confirmed that Pistorius is now at home, having served more than half of his original 13-year sentence.
Reeva Steenkamp’s mother expressed acceptance of the decision to release the ex-athlete but emphasised that her family is the one enduring a life sentence.
In 2013, at the age of 37, Oscar Pistorius fatally shot Ms. Steenkamp multiple times through a door, claiming he mistook her for a burglar. His murder conviction came in 2015, following an appeal court overturning the initial verdict of culpable homicide.
According to South African law, parole consideration becomes available after serving half the total sentence. For Pistorius, this was established in 2017 at 13 years and five months. Strict conditions accompany his parole, including a prohibition on media interaction, lasting until his sentence concludes in 2029.
In a statement, June Steenkamp acknowledged the role of parole in the South African legal system, emphasising the family’s belief in allowing the law to run its course. Mrs. Steenkamp welcomed the parole board’s decisions, incorporating anger management courses and gender-based violence programmes. She remarked that these choices affirmed her and her late husband Barry’s trust in the South African justice system.
However, she questioned whether justice had been served for Reeva and if Oscar had served enough time. For those left behind, the pain persists, constituting a life sentence. Mrs. Steenkamp expressed her sole desire to spend her remaining years in peace, focusing on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation to uphold Reeva’s legacy.
Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee and renowned “blade runner,” has been in prison since October 2014. Despite his global athletic success, the Department of Correctional Services ensures he will be treated like any other parolee. The conditions include home confinement during specific hours, an alcohol ban, and a media communication prohibition.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29 at the time of her death, was a law graduate, successful model, TV presenter, and participant in the reality show “Tropika Island of Treasure.” Her aspirations included starting a law firm to aid abused women after completing her education.
The tragic incident occurred just three months into her relationship with Pistorius, who fired four shots through a toilet cubicle door on February 14, 2013, resulting in her instant death.
Initially charged with murder, Oscar Pistorius was convicted in 2014 of culpable homicide. However, the Supreme Court of Appeal later amended the conviction to murder, citing inconsistencies in his account and a lack of rational fear during the shooting.