In a controversial move, Oscar Pistorius, the former Paralympic track star convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, is set to be released on parole this Friday, January 5, 2024.
Pistorius made headlines on Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he fatally shot Ms. Steenkamp through a bathroom door at their Pretoria home, claiming he mistook her for a burglar. After a South African court sentenced him to 13 years and five months in prison in 2016, the parole board has now determined his release.
The Department of Correctional Services announced that Pistorius, now 37, will be subject to monitoring by authorities until his sentence officially concludes, following the protocols for all parolees. Additionally, he will be required to attend therapy sessions, as confirmed by the Steenkamp family’s spokesperson.
During the parole hearing at Atteridgeville prison near Pretoria, Ms. Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, expressed her concerns about Pistorius’s “huge anger issues” and questioned whether these had been adequately addressed during his prison term. Though she did not oppose his release, she voiced her worry about the safety of any woman who might come into contact with him in the future.
Notably, June Steenkamp chose not to attend the hearing, stating, “I simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage.” This parole hearing marked Pistorius’s second attempt in less than a year, with the initial one in March being dismissed due to incomplete minimum detention period requirements. However, the Constitutional Court later ruled that the dismissal was a mistake, leading to the subsequent parole hearing on Friday.