Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison on Friday, marking a significant juncture almost 11 years after the tragic killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Eligible for parole in March 2023, after serving half of his 13-year, five-month sentence for murder, Pistorius was granted parole on 24 November, scheduled to commence on 5 January.
In the post-release phase, Pistorius will transition into South Africa’s community corrections system under the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). He will be under DCS supervision and must adhere to parole conditions until December 2029. Designated a monitoring official, Pistorius must inform them of job pursuits or relocations. Additionally, he is mandated to attend gender-based violence programmes and continue anger management therapy sessions, an arrangement stipulated by the Steenkamp family lawyer. His residence is expected to be in Pretoria.
The parole decision factored in various elements such as the nature of the crime, potential of reoffending, conduct during imprisonment, mental and physical health, and potential risks post-release. Pistorius engaged in the restorative justice programme, aligning with the system’s reconciliatory approach.
Rooted in indigenous justice principles predating European colonisation, the restorative justice model aims for closure through voluntary victim-offender dialogues. Pistorius relocated nearer to the Steenkamp family in late 2021 and participated in a dialogue with Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, in June 2022.
While the Steenkamp family lawyer expressed non-surprise at the parole decision, June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, had earlier expressed doubts regarding Pistorius’s rehabilitation. Yet, she did not oppose his release. Commending the parole board’s victim-inclusive approach, she praised their efforts post-Pistorius’s parole approval.
Following Pistorius’s parole, the athlete’s lawyer and family remained silent.
Picture: X / Tsogang3
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