"Oscar Pistorius Released on Parole After 9 Years in South African Prison"


South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison on parole after serving nearly nine years for killing his girlfriend, according to South Africa’s Department of Corrections. The department provided few details about his release, which took place around 8:30 a.m. Pistorius, a world-famous double-amputee Olympic runner, was released from the Atteridgeville Correctional Center in Pretoria, where he had been serving his sentence.

Pistorius had been sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013. He became eligible for parole after serving almost half of his sentence, as is the case for serious offenders in South Africa.

In a brief statement, the Department of Corrections confirmed Pistorius’ release on parole, effective from January 5, 2024. He has been placed under the supervision of the Community Corrections system and is now residing at home.

Initially, Pistorius was expected to live at his uncle’s residence in the upscale Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria, where a police van was spotted parked outside. The Department of Corrections had not announced the exact time of his release beforehand and had stated that they would avoid media attention around his release.

Pistorius will be subject to strict parole conditions until the completion of his sentence in December 2029. These conditions include limitations on his movements, a prohibition on alcohol consumption, mandatory participation in programs on anger management and violence against women, and community service. He will also be required to attend regular meetings with parole officials and undergo unannounced visits.

The Department of Corrections has emphasized that Pistorius, like any other parolee, has not completed his sentence. If he violates any of the parole conditions, he could be returned to prison.

South Africa does not use monitoring devices on parolees, but Pistorius will be closely monitored by a department official. He must report any significant changes in his life, such as employment or relocation.

Pistorius has consistently claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and shot her in self-defense. However, prosecutors argued that he intentionally killed her following an argument.

Steenkamp’s family did not oppose Pistorius’ parole application in November, though her mother, June Steenkamp, expressed that no amount of time served could bring her daughter back, and their family is the one serving a life sentence.

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Piers Potter


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