Oscar Pistorius a free man tomorrow

Oscar Pistorius. Picture: Phill Magakoe Independent Newspapers

Oscar Pistorius. Picture: Phill Magakoe Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 4, 2024


Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who has spent more than eight years behind bars for the murder of his then girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will on Friday return home.

According to media reports, Pistorius will spend his time as a free man at his uncle’s luxurious 12-bed, three storey mansion located in Pretoria’s exclusive Waterkloof suburb.

UK publication, “The Mirror”, has reported that the mansion is heavily guarded by attack dogs and razor wire fences.

Pistorius became eligible for parole in March 2023, after having served half of his 13-year, five-month sentence for murder.

His parole was granted on November 24.

In 2014, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, found the former Paralympic champion guilty of culpable homicide after he shot and killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, while she was behind his closed bathroom door.

In 2016, high court Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to six years in jail, but that sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in 2017, resulting in the increase in jail time when an effective 13 years and five months sentence was imposed on the athlete.

This week, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) confirmed the date for his parole as January 5, and it remains valid as previously communicated in November last year.

Spokesperson for the DCS, Singabakho Nxumalo, said the decision to grant Pistorius parole was taken by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB), after having assessed Pistorius’ profile and other material submitted for the purposes of parole consideration.

“The department affirms that a decision taken by the CSPB on November 24, 2023 to place inmate Oscar Pistorius on parole, effectively from January 5, 2024, remains valid and is to be enforced.

“This means that Pistorius shall be admitted into a system of community corrections and will be monitored until the expiry date of his sentence in 2029.

“An elevated public profile linked to Pistorius does not make him different from other inmates nor warrant inconsistent treatment,” Nxumalo said.

The department said it will not be making the intimate details of Pistorius public to the media in spite of a big public interest.

“Consequently, the details in terms of transportation plans and time of release shall not be made public. Disclosing such details may result in a security threat for the inmate and other stakeholders involved. Therefore DCS has to carefully manage that particular risk,” he said.

In November, DCS indicated that Pistorius’ parole as a first time offender with a positive support system, is in line with Section 73 of the Correctional Services Act.

“Parole placement forms part of the total rehabilitation programme in correcting offending behaviour and may include continuation of programmes aimed at reintegration while in the system of community corrections.

“Mr Pistorius will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections and will be subjected to supervision in compliance with parole conditions until his sentence expires,“ Nxumalo added.

Attempts by “The Star” to get comment from the Steenkamp family were unsuccessful at the time of going to print, however, a recent report by Independent Media indicated that the family was not convinced of Pistorius’ remorse.

Reeva Steenkamp. | Supplied

Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, who recently grieved the passing of her husband, Barry Steenkamp, said Pistorius has not been remorseful for the murder of her daughter and therefore should be kept behind bars.

She was speaking during a meeting facilitated by the DCS as part of the Victim-Offender Dialogue Programme.

“It is going to be tough to be in the same room with him ... I feel very stressed.”

Asked if she believed that Pistorius was remorseful after all this time locked away, she had said: “No. Never.” | Additional reporting by Zelda Venter

The Star