Oscar Pistorius, parole

South Africa’s former Olympic and Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, is expected to live in Pretoria after his release from jail on Friday. Image via MUJAHID SAFODIEN, AFP

Oscar Pistorius parole ruling: What will happen next?

Will Oscar Pistorius be a free man following the ConCourt’s ruling on his parole eligibility? Here’s what will happen next…

Oscar Pistorius, parole

South Africa’s former Olympic and Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, is expected to live in Pretoria after his release from jail on Friday. Image via MUJAHID SAFODIEN, AFP

In a bombshell ruling, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has confirmed Oscar Pistorius’s claims that he has been eligible for parole since March 2023.

The announcement was made via the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) on Monday, 9 October.

The former Paralympian was denied an early release after authorities claimed he had not yet served his minimum sentence. However, new documents revealed last month claimed that his incarceration dates were essentially mixed up.

Pistorius – who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp a decade ago – was sentenced to 13 years and five months for her murder.

ALSO READ: ‘Not opposing’: Reeva’s parents on Oscar Pistorius’s new parole bid


According to a short statement by DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo, the ConCourt had issued an order on “the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgement in 2017”.

This essentially confirmed that Pistorius did become eligible for parole in March 2023.

He said: “Briefly, the matter relates to the sentence given to inmate Oscar Leonard Pistorius, its effective date, and the impact on the calculation of the minimum detention period.”

ALSO READ: ‘Tragic, honest mistake’: Oscar Pistorius’s brother supports parole bid

The Associated Press reported last month that new documents revealed a “miscalculation” of when Pistorius began serving his sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

The admission was made in documents submitted to the ConCourt by a senior parole board on behalf of South Africa’s Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola, the commissioner of the corrections department, and parole and prison authorities. According to the documentation, authorities accept that Pistorius was eligible for parole during his hearing earlier this year.

oscar pistorius, parole, reeva steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius is eligible for parole, claim authorities. Images via MARCO LONGARI, AFP

On 31 March, the DCS announced that a board had rejected Oscar’s parole application.

According to a statement, Oscar was not eligible for parole, as he did not serve his minimum sentence, according to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). Under South African law, offenders must spend at least half their sentence in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

ALSO READ: Oscar Pistorius: Why has he approached the ConCourt for parole?

However, Oscar’s family and attorney, Julian Knight, have argued that the DCS, SCA, and the parole board had their dates all wrong.


According to Nxumalo, DCS will “study” the order issued to them by the ConCourt. He added: “This shall ensure that the order of court is correctly executed,” he said.

Following the DCS directive, Pistorius will likely apply for a parole hearing again.

ALSO READ: ‘This is wrong’: Oscar Pistorius’s siblings slam court’s ‘math errors’

During the parole hearing, the Correctional Supervision Parole Board will decide if Pistorius is fit to complete the remainder of their sentence outside of prison.

The parole board will evaluate recommendations made by professionals like psychologists and correctional officers.


Oscar Pistorius – who shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February 2013 – was convicted of culpable homicide in October 2014. This was later upgraded to murder in December 2015. He was handed a six-year prison sentence.

However, the SCA increased his jail term to 13 years and five months following an unsuccessful appeal in November 2017.

ALSO READ: Pistorius vs Jub Jub: Was athlete’s failed parole bid ‘unfair’?

Ahead of Pistorius’s parole hearing in March 2023, the SCA issued a clarification order antedating Oscar’s murder sentence to November 2017 – the date the court imposed his 13-year and five-month increased sentence – and did not consider time already spent in jail before this. 

Pistorius’s legal advisors argued that his prison sentence actually began in July 2016.