Oscar Pistorius turns to Constitutional Court in yet another bid to be released on parole

Oscar Pistorius is turning to the Concourt in yet another bid to be released on parole. Picture: File

Oscar Pistorius is turning to the Concourt in yet another bid to be released on parole. Picture: File

Published Aug 21, 2023


While murdered model Reeva Steenkamp would have celebrated her 40th birthday on Saturday, Oscar Pistorius is turning to the Constitutional Court in yet another bid to be released on parole.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Reeva’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, confirmed that she did receive a copy of Pistorius’ Concourt application.

“June and Barry will not oppose his application. We will abide by the decision of the court. They will rather focus on commemorating what would have been Reeva’s 40th birthday today (Sat),” lawyer Tania Koen said.

According to Koen, it will be a low key commemoration, with a small group of five people who will give June and Barry emotional support on this difficult day.

Pistorius is asking for the apex court to clear up the confusion, so that he can ask the parole board to reconsider his release.

Pistorius was denied parole at the end of March this year for the Valentine’s Day 2013 killing of Reeva. He was ultimately sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, of which he has to serve at least half before he is eligible for parole.

He is currently serving his jail sentence at the Atteridgeville prison, west of Pretoria. A dispute has arisen regarding the actual time Pistorius has served in jail up to now.

In denying him parole, the parole board decided that the athlete had not yet done all his time and that it would revisit his parole bid in March next year.

The department said the reason was that Pistorius had not completed the minimum detention period as ruled by the Supreme Court of Appeal. This, the department said, was clarified in a letter received on March 28 – three days before the hearing.

Acting President of the Supreme Court, Judge Xola Petse, in an email to the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, said: “It (is) apparent from the judgment of this court, delivered on November 24, 2017, that Oscar Pistorius was sentenced by this court to an effective term of 13 years and five months, taking into account the period of 12 months’ imprisonment and correctional supervision of seven months.

“The order of this court is unqualified, which means that the substituted sentence is effective from November 24, 2017 – the date on which this judgment was delivered,” the judge said through the court’s registrar.

But Pistorius is disputing these calculations and said that he is definitely eligible for parole, as he had served his time.

He applied to the Constitutional Court for direct access so that the apex court could determine his eligibility for parole. His first hurdle, however, is to obtain permission from the Concourt to directly approach it. It will only be after this court has given him the nod that he will be able to present its case to the judges.

Apart from the Steenkamps, Pistorius also cited Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, the parole board and the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre as respondents.

It is understood that the respondents have noted their intention to oppose his application, but they have not yet cited their grounds in this regard, as they have not yet run out of time to cite their opposition.

Pistorius said in his application that when one took into account the time he had served and the law, he has been eligible for parole since March 20 this year.

Pretoria News