Oscar Pistorius was conditionally released eleven years after the murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been conditionally released from a South African prison, almost 11 years after he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Authorities confirmed that Pistorius was “at home” on Friday morning, having served half of his more than 13-year prison sentence.

Ms Steenkamp’s mother said she accepted the decision to release the former athlete, but added that it was her family who were “serving the life sentence”.

In 2012, Pistorius became the first double amputee to take part in the Olympic Games.

Just six months later, he repeatedly shot Ms. Steenkamp through the bathroom door of her home. The shooting and subsequent trials fascinated South Africa and the world.

Pistorius, now 37, later claimed he mistook her for a thief at night.

Pistorius was ultimately convicted of murder in 2015 after an appeals court overturned an earlier verdict of manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

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What future does Oscar Pistorius have?

Oscar Pistorius

My friend Reeva Steenkamp

Conditions of probation

Under South African law, all criminals are entitled to parole or early release under certain conditions once they have served half of their total sentence, which for Pistorius is ultimately 13 years and five months.

He will live under strict rules until his sentence expires in 2029: he is not allowed to stay in his apartment at certain times of the day and is not allowed to drink alcohol. He is also not authorized to speak to the media.

Additionally, Pistorius must undergo therapy to address issues related to gender-based violence and anger.

He would have moved to live with his uncle Arnold Pistorius in a chic suburb of the capital Pretoria.

While in prison, Pistorius drove a tractor in the park, worked in the library and cleaned inmates’ cells, according to legal documents cited by South African journalist Karyn Maughan.

Social workers and psychologists had also written positive reports about him, he told the BBC program “Newsday”.

Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June, said in a statement that the family “has always known that probation is part of the South African legal system” and has “always said the law must take its course”.

Ms Steenkamp said she welcomed the conditions imposed by the parole board, which “validate Barry and my faith in the South African justice system”, referring to her late husband.

But he asked: “Is there justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one never returns and brings time served back to Reeva. It is us who are left behind who are doing life sentences.

She added: “My only wish is that I can spend my remaining years in peace and continue to focus on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation to carry on Reeva’s legacy.”

Not long after his initial conviction, in October 2014, Pistorius was first sentenced to prison. He was under house arrest between 2015 and 2016 before his sentence was changed and his sentence extended.

When Pistorius was less than a year old, his legs were amputated due to a congenital condition: he was born without the fibula, the smaller of the two bones in the leg. After that, he had to rely on prosthetics to become the well-known athlete known as the “Blade Runner.”

She enjoyed a successful athletics career, first at the Paralympics, where she won numerous gold medals, and then cemented her reputation by competing against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.

South Africa’s Department of Corrections said the former star would be treated like anyone else on probation, despite his high profile in the public eye.

Ms. Steenkamp, ​​who was 29 when she died, was a law student and successful model who also worked as a television presenter and appeared in a reality show called Tropika Island of Treasure.

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She planned to start a law firm after graduation to help abused women.

Ms Steenkamp had been in a three-month relationship with Pistorius when he fired four shots through the toilet door of her Pretoria home in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

She died almost instantly.

The state charged Pistorius with murder, but in 2014 he was convicted of the lesser crime of manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

The following year, Supreme Court of Appeal judges changed his conviction to murder, saying his version of events was contradictory and improbable and that he had “resigned from office without any reasonable or real fear that his life was in danger.”

The trials against Oscar Pistorius

August 2012: Participates in the London Olympics and Paralympics and wins a gold medal

February 2013: Kills his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

March 2014: The trial begins

September 2014: Judge finds Pistorius guilty of manslaughter

October 2014: Start of the five-year prison sentence

October 2015: Placed under house arrest

December 2015: The appeals court changes the verdict to murder

July 2016: Returned to prison after being sentenced to six years for murder

November 2017: The appeal court increases the sentence to 13 years and five months

June 2022: Meeting with Barry, Ms. Steenkamp’s father, as part of a restorative justice program

November 2023: Parole Board agrees to release Pistorius

January 2024: Conditional release from prison

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