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Oscar Pistorius: Friend defends athlete as a ‘kind guy' and claims media has skewed perceptions of him

Pistorius has been released from prison to serve the rest of his sentence at his uncle's house 

Heather Saul
Tuesday 20 October 2015 12:08
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Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius is a “kind guy, with a kind soul and a good heart” who needs “a lot of healing”, his friend has claimed.

The Paralympic athlete was released from a South African prison overnight after serving 12 months of his five-year sentence for killing Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

He is now living at his uncle Arnold’s mansion in Pretoria, where he will serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

Jenny Strydom, a Steenkmap family friend, criticised his release, claiming Pistorius would now serve the rest of his sentence in a “five-star way”.

Derwald Reinders, a friend of Pistorius, said he had lost “a lot of weight” since being incarcerated and had been left “broken” by Ms Steenkamp’s death.

He told Sky News: “Unfortunately, Oscar is being perceived as somebody that is very angry and with anger issues and stuff like that. I don’t particularly think so. I’ve known him for 11 years, he’s a very kind guy, with a kind soul and a good heart.

“I think the whole perception in the market place or in the media per se has just been totally different than what we as the people knowing him very well perceives and know him to be.”

Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for the family, addressed reporters gathered at his home on Tuesday.

"Oscar is here, and Oscar is at home with the family,” she said. "The family is happy that Oscar is at home.”

She also stressed that his release did not mean his sentenced has been shortened or reduced.

"He's simply entering the next phase of his sentence now and he will serve this under the strict conditions that govern correctional supervision.

"The family will support Oscar as he serves out the remaining sentence handed down by the trial judge and he will strictly adhere to the conditions set by the Parole Board and Community Corrections."

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