Oscar Pistorius Kanye West

Kanye West, dropped by sportswear giant Adidas over a series of anti-Semitic outbursts, is not the first star to be dumped by sponsors. Image by ALON SKUY/AFP

‘Trustworthy, positive’: Why officials claim Pistorius deserves parole

Officials are backing Oscar Pistorius’s bid for a parole hearing and an early release after his 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius Kanye West

Kanye West, dropped by sportswear giant Adidas over a series of anti-Semitic outbursts, is not the first star to be dumped by sponsors. Image by ALON SKUY/AFP

Prison officials, social workers, and psychologists have come out in support of Oscar Pistorius being granted parole. This after the former Paralympian have reportedly served half of his mandatory sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Their support comes amid Pistorius’s bid via a court order to force officials to hold a parole hearing. There’s also a discrepancy on whether he is in fact eligible for parole or not.

Oscar Pistorius is serving a 13-year-and-five-month sentence for the murder of his model girlfriend.

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Last month, Pistorius headed to court to force officials to hold a hearing to deliberate his early release.

According to South African law, offenders become eligible for parole after serving half their sentence. However, the parole hearing does not necessarily mean the offender will be granted an early release, but that it will be considered.

According to News24, Pistorius’s legal team accused the Atteridgeville prison – where he served the majority of his 13-year sentence – of “failing to comply” with the parole process requirements set out in the Correctional Services Act. They also claimed it infringed his “right to procedurally fair administrative action”.

He stated in court papers: “I humbly submit that I have done everything in my power to rehabilitate, to conduct myself in such a manner as to constantly comply with prison rules, to show full remorse”.

The publication states that Pistorius is demanding the Pretoria High Court order the chairperson of the parole board at Atteridgeville prison to “convene a parole hearing” for him “within 30 days following the granting of this order”.

He is also seeking that all documentation, including a social worker’s report, psychologist’s report, vocational report, unit manager’s report, and the case management committee’s report be made available for the hearing.

A parole hearing has yet to be scheduled.

ALSO READ: Reeva had ‘premonition’ at 14: ‘She knew she was going to die’


After a much publicised and lengthy trial, Oscar Pistorius 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 Supreme Court of Appeal increased his jail term to 13 years and five months following an unsuccessful appeal in November 2017.

Jailed South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has asked the courts to force prison authorities to consider him for parole. In this file photo, Pistorius holds his head in his hands during his resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the Pretoria High Court on 15 June 2016. Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL / AFP

According to calculations made by his legal team, they believe Oscar Pistorius became eligible for parole in February 2021. However, the Atteridge prison claim that Pistorius will only become eligible in March 2023.

The reasoning is a discrepancy is a period of 506 days, which Pistorius’s legal team claims he had already served for Reeva Steenkamp’s murder. 

In 2016, Pretoria Judge Thokozile Masipa changed her sentencing from five years for culpable homicide a year earlier, to six years for murder.

In 2017, Pistorius was handed down a lengthier sentence following an appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority.

ALSO READ: ‘My name is Reeva’: M-Net’s haunting doccie on model’s life, death [trailer]


While Pistorius gets his ducks in a row over the possibility of an early release, officials have offered insight into his life behind bars.

The 35-year-old has reportedly been keeping himself busy by joining a book club, working as a cleaner, and being allocated as a tractor driver, according to his unit manager whom News24 refers to as a Mrs Makgatho.

She told the publication of Pistorius:

“He is a trustworthy individual who can defuse tense situations.”

She added that he was  “ready to be re-integrated into society and will be a positive influence in the community”. This after she claims he reportedly attended his recommended programmes as part of his sentence.

Oscar Pistorius Gqeberha
Oscar Pistorius has been moved to a prison in Gqeberha. Image by Flickr

Pistorius also met with Reeva Steenkamp’s father, Barry, in June 2022 as part of his rehabilitation through a programme called the “Victim Offender Dialogue”.

Details of the meeting have remained “private and confidential”, the Steenkamps’ attorney Tania Koen told the publication.


Also recommending Pistorius’s early release on parole was Atterridge prison’s sports, arts, recreation, and culture coordinator TP Hlako.

“I can gladly say without fear nor contradiction that he [Pistorius] will be able to contain himself outside if faced with challenges,” Hlako told News24.

“We have managed to train him on how to deal with all types of anxiety that are negative. It is therefore my submission that should an opportunity arise for him to be given a chance to finish the remainder of his sentence outside, he should be granted such.”

In a November 2021 report by the prison’s case management committee, prison psychologist VK Mabunda added:

“Mr Pistorius does not display any major unresolved criminogenic needs. Rather he displays protective factors which could reduce his risk of re-offending (support from family).”

He added: “Mr Pistorius appeared to have developed sufficient desistance factors to moderate against re-offending. [He] may be suitably considered for parole”. Prison social worker Clara Erenst added in the report that Pistorius was “taking full responsibility for his actions”.