• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Oscar Pistorius freed from prison 11 years after killing Reeva Steenkamp


Jan 5, 2024


Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was released from prison Friday, South Africa’s Ministry of Justice said. He had been jailed for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after he shot her at his home on Valentine’s Day in 2013. His televised trial made headlines around the world.

Pistorius has served about nine years of his murder sentence of 13 years and five months, and his release followed a successful parole bid in November. In South Africa, serious offenders are eligible for parole after completing at least half of their sentence.

“He was admitted into the system of Community Corrections and is now at home,” South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services said in a brief update Friday, without providing further details.

Pistorius, 37, was dubbed “Blade Runner” for his speed on carbon-fiber prosthetic legs after becoming a double amputee as a child. He won six Paralympic gold medals, became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics at the 2012 London Games and was hailed as a sporting champion.

Steenkamp was a model and paralegal. The couple dated for several months before Pistorius fatally shot her through a locked bathroom door in his apartment in Pretoria. He claimed in court that he had mistaken his girlfriend, then 29, for a burglar.

Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, said in a statement Friday that the decision affirmed her belief in South Africa’s 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.”

However, she added, “almost 11 years later, the pain is still raw and real.”

“Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back … we, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.”

Olympian Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison on parole

A South African judge originally convicted Pistorius of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, in 2014 after finding that prosecutors failed to prove Pistorius committed murder when he shot Steenkamp. Pistorius steadfastly claimed that he thought he was shooting at an intruder in his house.

In December 2015, prosecutors succeeded in having Pistorius’s original conviction overturned, and South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal found him guilty of the more serious murder charge, ruling that the lower-court judge misapplied the law in finding him guilty of the less-serious charge.

General parole conditions will apply to Pistorius, according to the Department of Correctional Services. There are restrictions on when he can leave home, and he is banned from conducting media interviews or consuming alcohol. A breach of his parole conditions could see Pistorius return to jail.


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