The athlete Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison on parole after serving nine years in prison for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, as reported by the South African Department of Correctional Services. Pistorius – a former Paralympic and Olympian – shot dead his 29-year-old girlfriend, a model, through a closed bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013.
He will be under correctional supervision until his sentence ends in 2029. Pistorius is expected to live at his uncle’s home in Waterkloof, a luxurious suburb of Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, and to attend programs on gender violence and crime control. gonna. He will not be allowed to drink alcohol and he will have to obtain permission to travel or accept employment, making it unlikely that he will return to the athletics track anytime soon.
In a statement shared by the Steenkamp family’s attorney on Friday, Reeva’s mother, June, said, “There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.”
“We who are left behind are the ones who are serving life sentences,” June Steenkamp declared, adding that her only wish was to be allowed to live in peace.
Pistorius was initially acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter – the equivalent of involuntary manslaughter – in 2014, and began a five-year prison sentence.
In October 2014 he was released under house arrest to serve the rest of his sentence at his uncle’s house. However, in December of that same year, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s ruling and found Pistorius guilty of murder, arguing that he should have foreseen the possibility of killing someone when he fired the shots.
In 2016 he was sentenced to six years in prison, less than half of the minimum sentence of 15 years requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. The following year, the Supreme Court ruled that that sentence was “shockingly lenient” and raised it to 15 years, less time already served.
The decision to grant him parole was made last November.
“The Department of Correctional Services [está] “We are able to confirm that Oscar Pistorius is on parole, effective January 5, 2024. He was admitted to the Community Corrections system and is now at home,” the country’s Department of Prisons said in a statement. .
June Steenkamp stated that the conditions imposed by the parole board had reaffirmed her confidence in the South African justice system as they send a clear message that gender-based violence is taken seriously.
Pistorius’ early release has highlighted the broader problem of gender-based violence in South Africa, an issue that friends and family say was close to Steenkamp’s heart. Bulelwa Adonis, spokesperson for the advocacy group Women for Change, said Pistorius’ early release sends “the wrong message” to potential criminals.
Pistorius was one of the best-known names in world sport when he fatally shot Steenkamp, a paralegal and model, four times through the bathroom door of his Pretoria home. Pistorius had won six gold medals at the Paralympic Games and had qualified for the Olympic Games with a prosthesis, being one of 10 athletes to have participated in both competitions.
Pistorius claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, but after a lengthy trial, which attracted enormous international media attention, a judge disagreed.