- Former Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has applied for parole and is expected to attend a hearing on Friday
- The parole board will consider statements from Pistorius, Steenkamp’s parents, prison officials and social workers
Former Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has applied for parole and is expected to attend a hearing on Friday. It will be decided in the hearing whether he can be released from prison a decade after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius has so far served half of his 13-year-five-month sentence and a parole board will determine if he will be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence on licence at his uncle’s home in Pretoria, South Africa.
If Pistorius is granted Parole, he will be freed within several days. However, Steenkamp’s parents are widely expected to oppose parole during the hearing which will take place on Friday. Steenkamp’s father has made public his frustration on Pistorius shooting her daughter.
“He is a murderer. He should remain in jail.” Steenkamp’s father said in an interview with Daily Mail last month on the 10th anniversary of his daughter’s killing.
Oscar Pistorius is currently in a low-security prison in rolling fields just outside South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria. According to BBC, the former amputee sprinter recently met Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp, as a mandatory process in what is known as “victim-offender dialogue”.
The parole board is expected to consist of a minimum of three people who will consider statements from the former champion, Steenkamp’s parents, prison officials and social workers. The board will look at Oscar’s behaviour, state of mind and the extent to which he has been rehabilitated.
The Department of Corrections refused to give details on Pistorius’ hearing describing it as an internal matter.
The parole board has several options in this Oscar Pistorius’ case. The former Olympic and Paralympic athlete could be released on full parole or placed on day parole. Being on day parole means he will be allowed to interact with the community during the day but must return to prison at night.
Another option that parole board has is placing Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision. This means that he will be released but will have to spend some of his time during the week at a correctional center.
If Pistorius fails to get parole at his first trial or his release is challenged by Reeva Steenkamp’s parents, he could still go to court. South African law states that having served more than half the time, the offender should be released under supervision.
Oscar Pistorius, a former amputee sprinter, murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He argued that he shot the 29-year-old because he thought she was a dangerous intruder. He was ultimately convicted of murder after prosecutors appealed against an initial sentencing of culpable homicide.
Pistorius, who is now 36, was eventually sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison in 2017.