Oscar Pistorius Released On Parole In South Africa3 min read
Officials confirmed Pistorius was “at home” on Friday morning, having served half of his more than 13-year sentence.
Ms Steenkamp’s mother said she accepted the decision to release the former athlete – but added her family was the one “serving a life sentence”.
Pistorius, now 37, shot Ms Steenkamp multiple times in 2013 through a door. The double amputee later claimed he had mistaken her for a burglar.
Pistorius was eventually convicted of murder in 2015 after an appeal court overturned an earlier verdict of culpable homicide. Under South African law, all offenders are entitled to be considered for parole once they have served half their total sentence, which for Pistorius was finally set in 2017 at 13 years and five months.
He will live under strict conditions – including being unable to speak to the media – until his sentence expires in 2029.
He is believed to have gone to live at the home of his uncle Arnold Pistorius in an upmarket suburb of the capital, Pretoria.
June Steenkamp said in a statement that the family had “always known that parole is part of the South African legal system” and had “always said that the law must take its course”.
Mrs Steenkamp said she welcomed the conditions imposed by the parole board – which include anger management courses and programmes on gender-based violence – adding that those decisions had “affirmed Barry and my belief in the South African justice system,” referring to her late husband.
But, she asked: “Has there been justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back. We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.”
She added: “My only desire is that I will be allowed to live my last years in peace with my focus remaining on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, to continue Reeva’s legacy.”
Pistorius first went to prison in October 2014, shortly after his initial conviction. There was a period between 2015 and 2016 when he was released under house arrest before his conviction was changed and sentenced lengthened.
Pistorius’s lower legs were amputated when he was less than a year old. He subsequently relied on prosthetics and became a world-renowned athlete known as the “blade runner”.
He had a successful career on the track, first at the Paralympics, winning multiple golds, and then cementing his reputation after competing against non-disabled athletes at the London Olympics in 2012. The murder of Ms Steenkamp just six months later, and the subsequent trials, dominated headlines around the world.
South Africa’s department of correctional services said that despite his high public profile, the former star will be treated like anyone else on parole.
This means that he will be confined to his home for certain hours of the day and he is banned from drinking alcohol. He is also not permitted to speak to the media.