oscar pistorius parole

South Africa’s ex-Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius is “now at home” after his release from jail on parole on Friday, 5 January 2024. Image via Deaan Vivier, AFP

D-Day! Everything you need to know about Oscar Pistorius’s parole hearing

Will Oscar Pistorius finally taste freedom following today’s parole hearing? Here’s everything you need to know about what will happen…

oscar pistorius parole

South Africa’s ex-Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius is “now at home” after his release from jail on parole on Friday, 5 January 2024. Image via Deaan Vivier, AFP

The day Oscar Pistorius has been waiting years for – his parole hearing – has finally dawned. But will today see the former Paralympian – convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp a decade ago – be given the opportunity of an early prison release?

Here’s everything you need to know…

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When and where will parole hearing take place?

The parole hearing will take place on Friday, 24 November at the Atteridgeville Prison in Pretoria. This is where Oscar – the offender – spent most of his 13-year and five-month murder sentence.

According to SA law, offenders become eligible for parole after serving half of their sentence. The parole hearing does not necessarily mean the offender will be granted an early release. It does mean that the offender will be considered.

The hearing is undertaken by the Correctional Service Parole Board (CSPB).

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What will happen during the hearing?

The CSPB will evaluate recommendations made by professionals like psychologists and correctional officers, who will determine the following; 

  • If the offender is remorseful for their actions
  • If the offender has been rehabilitated and can be reintegrated into society
  • The risk of the offender re-offending or posing a danger to the community

The board will also accept a submission from the offender – written or oral – in which he pleads his case.

Oscar Pistorius
Will Oscar Pistorius be granted parole? Images via Deaan Vivier / POOL / AFP, Twitter

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Additionally, the board will accept submissions by the victim’s family – the Steenkamps – of their decision to support or oppose the parole application.

Is anyone opposing the parole bid?

According to Steenkamp family advocate Tania Koen, Reeva’s last surviving parent – her mother, June – will not oppose the parole application.

While she will not be there physically, a representative – Rob Matthews, the father of Leigh Matthews – will read her victim impact statement.

Koen added that the statement will detail the ripple effect of Oscar’s actions, and the impact it had on Reeva’s parents. This will include the recent death of Reeva’s father, Barry.

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Will the decision be made immediately? And could Oscar Pistorius be released from jail today?

The decision is made by the CSPB following a deliberation over their findings.

Should they grant parole, Oscar could also be released “immediately,” claimed his lawyer Conrad Dormehl.

He told AFP: “An immediate placement on parole would be the best-case scenario, which would obviously be before Christmas.”

However, this is unlikely. He added: “If parole is granted, DCS follows an internal process, which is usually within a month”.

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What are the rules and regulations of parole? And what happens if they are broken?

While regulations vary according to the nature of each case and offender, common parole conditions include the following;

  • Having a fixed address and reporting to a parole officer or police station
  • Having travel limited and being subjected to a curfew
  • Being subjected to random drug and alcohol tests
  • Prohibited from owning a dangerous weapon
  • Prohibited from reoffending in any way

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Given Oscar’s history, he may additionally be prohibited from consuming alcohol or even visiting establishments that sell alcohol.

According to the CSPB, should offenders break any rules, their parole will likely be revoked. Offenders will then be returned to prison to continue their sentence behind bars.