Oscar Pistorius Released on Parole After 11 Years: A Controversial Chapter Revisited

In a significant turn of events, Oscar Pistorius, the former Paralympian convicted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, has been granted parole, marking nearly 11 years since the tragic incident. Pistorius, now 37, has completed half of his 13-year and five-month sentence, as confirmed by officials on Friday.

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Under South African law, all offenders become eligible for parole after serving half their total sentence. Pistorius, who claimed to have mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar when he shot her multiple times through a door, was initially convicted of culpable homicide in 2014. However, an appeal court overturned this verdict in 2015, upgrading the charge to murder.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Living under strict conditions until 2029, Pistorius will face specific parole conditions, including confinement to his home during certain hours, abstaining from alcohol, and refraining from speaking to the media. Additionally, therapy addressing issues related to gender-based violence and anger is mandated.

Pistorius is reported to have moved to the residence of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, situated in an upscale suburb of Pretoria. During his time in prison, Pistorius engaged in various activities, including driving a tractor, working in the library, and cleaning cells, as indicated by legal documents and reports from social workers and psychologists.

Emphasized that Her Family Continues to Serve a life Sentence

Reacting to the parole decision, June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, expressed acceptance of the legal process but emphasized that her family continues to serve a life sentence. She questioned whether justice had been served for Reeva and whether Pistorius had served enough time. Mrs. Steenkamp welcomed the parole board’s imposed conditions and affirmed her commitment to the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius, known as the “blade runner” due to his prosthetic legs, achieved fame through his successful athletic career, winning multiple gold medals at the Paralympics and competing against non-disabled athletes in the 2012 London Olympics. However, the shocking murder of Reeva Steenkamp six months later overshadowed his achievements, sparking global headlines.

The South African Department of Correctional Services stated that despite Pistorius’s high profile, he will be treated like any other individual on parole. Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate, successful model, and aspiring advocate for abused women, was tragically killed just three months into her relationship with Pistorius.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius
  • August 2012: Pistorius competes in the London Olympics and Paralympics, winning a gold medal.
  • February 2013: Pistorius fatally shoots his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
  • March 2014: The trial begins.
  • September 2014: Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide.
  • October 2014: He begins a five-year sentence.
  • October 2015: Pistorius is transferred to house arrest.
  • December 2015: The appeal court changes the verdict to murder.
  • July 2016: Pistorius returns to prison after being sentenced to six years for murder.
  • November 2017: The appeal court increases the sentence to 13 years and five months.
  • June 2022: Pistorius participates in a restorative justice program, meeting Reeva Steenkamp’s father, Barry.
  • November 2023: The parole board agrees that Pistorius should be released.
  • January 2024: Oscar Pistorius is freed from prison under parole conditions.

The parole decision reignites debates on justice, rehabilitation, and the impact of high-profile cases on victims’ families. As Oscar Pistorius re-enters society under strict conditions, the memory of Reeva Steenkamp and the ongoing efforts of the foundation established in her name will continue to shape discussions surrounding this controversial chapter in South African legal history.

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