The Paralympian who killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is out on parole after eight years in jail.
OSCAR Pistorius has been released on parole and is now at the Waterkloof home of his uncle Arnold Pistorius.
Correctional Services confirmed on Friday morning that Pistorius who killed his girl friend Reeva Steenkamp was now a parolee. The department said he was admitted into the system of community corrections, “and home now.”
It is not known exactly when he was released from the Atteridgeville Prison, west of Pretoria. While the media waited in vain outside the prison to get a glimpse of Pistorius, he was whisked off to a correctional services office in the CBD, where his release on parole was processed and his parole conditions read out to him, before being taken to his uncle’s home.
Reacting to the news of his release, Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, said that February 14, 2013, the day on which her daughter was killed, had changed everything forever.
“This is the day South Africa lost its hero, Oscar Pistorius, and the day Barry and I lost our precious daughter, Reeva, at Oscar’s hands.”
She said that now, almost 11 years later, the pain was still raw and real.
“My dear late husband Barry and I have never been able to come to terms with Reeva’s death, or the way she died. Through the years Barry and I were encouraged by the love and messages of support from both friends and strangers.”
She thanked everyone for carrying Barry and herself through those difficult years.
“Part of Barry and my daily conversations were always flooded by the sorrow we felt for the parents and families of victims whose perpetrators were not brought to book. Our thoughts remained with them as they were denied any form of closure and the names of their loved ones never recognised or honoured.”
June said it made them feel guilty to an extent, but at the same time the trauma of re-living and re-telling their story had been a huge cross for them to bear.
“Whilst we remain grateful to the media, the intensity of the coverage of Oscar’s trial, imprisonment and parole has been a double-edged sword.”
She said the media interest meant the loss of their privacy which made it difficult for them to mourn in peace.
“Sadly, reports were often accompanied by verbal and emotional abuse by some members of the public – not only towards us, but also towards our deceased daughter. It is my sincere wish, and it was Barry’s too, that people will take a moment to consider the impact of their hurtful comments.”
June said they did not seek the attention, “We would much rather have our loving daughter alive, and laughing, with us.”
Acknowledging that parole was part of the South African legal system, June said both she and Barry had always believed that the law had to take its course.
“Oscar Pistorius’s release on parole, subject to certain conditions, has affirmed Barry and my belief in the South African justice system. The conditions imposed by the parole board, which includes anger management courses and programs on gender-based violence, send out a clear message that gender based violence is taken seriously.”
“Has there been justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? 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 remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.”
June added that with the release of Pistorius on parole, her only desire was to be allowed to live her last years in peace, and be able to focus on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, to continue her daughter’s legacy.
The DCS said Pistorius will be monitored until the expiration of his sentence in 2029.
As part of parole conditions, the 37-year-old will be expected to be home at a certain times and not consume alcohol for the duration of his sentence. He will also have to undergo a number of programmes including anger management.