South African Paralympic Champion Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole

Kampala, Uganda HABARI DAILY I A decade after the tragic incident that shook the world, South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been granted early release from prison on parole.

According to a statement from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), parole placement for Mr. Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius, effective from January 5, 2024.

The decision follows Pistorius’ appearance before a parole board at a correctional centre outside Pretoria, marking his second attempt at parole in less than eight months. The Constitutional Court overturned a previous denial, ruling that the board had made a mistake and paving the way for a fresh hearing.

The case stems from the tragic event on Valentine’s Day in 2013 when Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through the bathroom door of his heavily fortified Pretoria home. 

Pistorius, known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, maintained that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and pleaded not guilty to murder.

The court, after a lengthy trial and several appeals, found him guilty of murder in 2017 and sentenced him to 13 years in prison.

Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, expressed her dissatisfaction with Pistorius’s lack of genuine remorse in her statement to the parole board. She emphasized the necessity for true engagement with the consequences of the crime for effective rehabilitation.

“Rehabilitation requires someone to engage honestly, with the full truth of his crime and the consequences thereof. Nobody can claim to have remorse if they’re not able to engage fully with the truth,” she stated.

June Steenkamp forgave Pistorius long ago but maintained her disbelief in his version of events. Despite her absence at the parole hearing, Steenkamp’s family spokesperson and lawyer represented her interests.

As part of Pistorius’s rehabilitation efforts, he met Steenkamp’s parents last year, a process designed to make inmates acknowledge the harm they have caused. June Steenkamp expressed forgiveness for Pistorius but held firm in her skepticism.

Offenders in South Africa are automatically eligible for parole consideration after serving half of their sentence. Pistorius, 37, will be subject to certain conditions upon his release, including monitoring by authorities and a requirement to report to a community correction centre. The decision to grant parole has ignited renewed public interest in a case that has captivated the world for a decade.

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