Ex Paralympic champ Oscar Pistorius to be freed on parole

PRETORIA, South Africa, Nov 25 – Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius is to be freed from jail on parole, nearly 11 years after murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot Steenkamp multiple times through a bathroom door on Valentine’s Day in 2013, later claiming he mistook her for a burglar.

Pistorius, now 37, was sentenced by a South African court in 2016 to serve 13 years in prison.

The parole board has set his release for 5 January 2024.

Steenkamp’s mother did not oppose bail but – in a letter sent to the parole board – said she wondered whether Pistorius’s “huge anger issues” were truly dealt with in prison, adding she would potentially be “concerned for the safety of any woman” who now comes into contact with him.

Steenkamp’s mother misses hearing 

June Steenkamp chose not to attend the parole hearing on Friday at Atteridgeville prison, near Pretoria, saying: “I simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage”.

Her husband and Reeva’s father, Barry, died earlier this year and she said the strain on them both had been immense.

“My dear Barry left this world utterly devastated by the thought that he had failed to protect his daughter… The only hope he had left, was that Oscar would find it in himself to eventually tell the full truth,” Mrs Steenkamp’s statement read.

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This was Pistorius’s second parole hearing in under a year.

His first parole bid was struck out in March because he had not completed the minimum detention period. That was later ruled a mistake by South Africa’s Constitutional Court, leading to Friday’s parole hearing.

-By BBC News

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