Oscar Pistorius

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

Oscar Pistorius could be a free man TODAY

Oscar Pistorius could be released from prison on Friday, a decade after he killed his girlfriend in a crime that gripped the world.

Oscar Pistorius

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

South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius could be released from prison on Friday, 31 March, a little over a decade after he killed his girlfriend in a crime that gripped the world.

LOL | Nando’s: Five times their ads had us crying with laughter!

A parole board is to decide whether Pistorius should be let out early, after a hearing in Pretoria later today.

“The board must determine whether the purpose of imprisonment has been served,” said Department of Correctional Services’ spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

Pistorius, who is now 36, shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, a model, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, when he fired four times through the bathroom door of his ultra-secure Pretoria house.

MUST READ | Five important things happening in South Africa in the next week

He pleaded not guilty and denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to 13 years in prison

Known worldwide as the “Blade Runner” because of his carbon-fibre prosthetics, he was sentenced to 13 years behind bars.

Offenders in South Africa are automatically eligible for parole consideration after serving half of their sentence.

Pistorius has served more than half, having started his term in 2014.

ALSO READ | Student rescued from BOS 400 wreck at Sandy Bay

As part of his rehabilitation, Pistorius met Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry last year, in a process authorities said aims to ensure inmates “acknowledge the harm they have caused to their victims and the society at large”.

Reeva’s mother June will attend the hearing to “make representations to the parole board” which will include both parents’ victim impact statements, said Tania Koen, a lawyer representing the Steenkamps.

June’s husband Barry is unable to travel due to ill health, Koen added.

MUST READ | Five best places to go skinny dipping in South Africa

Koen said she was not at liberty to discuss the Steenkamps’ position on a possible release of their daughter’s killer.


“They are going to make their submissions. And then obviously, the law will take its course,” she said.

The board, normally made up of correctional services and community members, will consider whether an inmate has been rehabilitated or still poses a danger to society, said Kelly Phelps, a law professor at the University of Cape Town.

WATCH | White Lion yawning will be the most incredible thing you’ll watch today!

This will take into account the seriousness of the offence as well as Pistorius’ behaviour behind bars, including whether he attended educational and life skills programs.

Release on parole usually comes with some conditions, such as monitoring from authorities and duty to report to a community correction centre.

“It’s very common to have things like alcohol restrictions, restrictions on your ability to own firearms… and to require participation in counselling,” said Phelps.

MUST READ | Property: 3 700 houses in South Africa valued at over $1 million

Day parole, where the inmate returns to prison at night, and community service are also on the cards, said Nxumalo of the correctional services.

A year before killing Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee to race at the Olympics at the 2012 London Olympics.

He then was a sporting icon admired worldwide and courted by sponsors.

WEALTH REPORT | South Africa ‘only’ has 37 800 DOLLAR millionaires

But his achievements came crashing down after the killing, with his character and past closely scrutinised in a trial that made headlines around the world.

Unduly lenient

He was initially sentenced to six years in jail but the term was later lengthened to 13 after the state appealed that it was unduly lenient.

ALSO READ | Interest rate: Brace yourselves for a HIKE later this week – experts

Parole decisions are usually known the same day of the hearing or a day later, but Nxumalo hinted that in Oscar Pistorius’s case “the decision may not be taken on the same”.

If denied, the offender has the right to approach the courts for review.

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

MONEY MATTERS | FOUR of Africa’s wealthiest cities are in South Africa