Oscar Pistorius could be freed by the weekend

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius

Published Nov 22, 2023


The parole board will on Friday yet again consider whether to place Oscar Pistorius on parole.

And if all goes his way, the former athlete could be back at the Waterkloof, Pretoria, mansion of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, where he is expected to serve his parole, by as early as the weekend.

Pistorius’s lawyer, Conrad Dormehl, on Tuesday confirmed to Independent Media that the parole board would hear Pistorius’s parole application on Friday. He could not say, however, when Pistorius would be released if the board did decide he was eligible for parole. The former athlete is serving his sentence at Atteridgeville Prison, west of Pretoria.

This is the second time the parole board is meeting this year to decide whether Pistorius should be released.

At the end of February, the board decided he had not yet served all his time and that it would revisit his parole bid in March next year.

This verdict was delivered on the same day as the parole board hearing.

Dormehl said Pistorius’s fate was in the hands of the parole board and it was impossible to predict the outcome, or when the decision would be announced. He could also not predict what the parole conditions would be.

He said there were a lot of factors the parole board had to take into account before it came to a decision.

Dormehl said Pistorius was eligible for parole on March 21 this year.

The Constitutional Court last month confirmed that Pistorius had served half of his prison sentence by March this year.

It was more than a decade ago when he shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times through the closed toilet door at his home in Pretoria East. The incident occurred in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

Pistorius maintained throughout his trial that he never knew she was in the toilet cubicle at the time and he thought there were intruders in his double-storey home.

There was confusion about when the 13-year-and-five-month sentence for murder came into effect. The Concourt, however, found last month that the Supreme Court of Appeal correctly antedated the sentence to July 6, 2016.

He had to serve at least half of his sentence before he could be considered for parole.

Dormehl said this finding, as well as an array of other facts, such as how Pistorius was behaving while in prison, would be taken into account when deciding on possible parole placement.

When asked how Pistorius was feeling regarding the prospect of possible freedom, Dormehl declined to comment.

Tania Koen, the lawyer representing Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, told Independent Media that June would not attend Friday’s hearing, saying “she is still in mourning” (following the death of her husband Barry Steenkamp recently due to ill health).

Koen said June would not oppose parole this time around, but an advocate would read out her victim impact report to the parole board.

In papers filed last year in a later aborted application against the Department of Correctional Services in a bid to get the parole board to consider his parole, Pistorius said he had been a model prisoner all along.

Pistorius said in an affidavit in that application that he had done everything within his power to ensure that all from his side was in place.

“I humbly submit that I have done everything in my power to rehabilitate, to conduct myself in such a manner as to constantly comply with the prison rules and to show full remorse,” he stated.

The confusion regarding his time spent in jail followed the various appeals and orders issued by the Supreme Court after trial Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced him to six years in prison in October 2014.

The State appealed against the verdict, and the Supreme Court convicted Pistorius of murder. It upped his sentence to 13 years and five months’ imprisonment.

Pretoria News