Oscar Pistorius to be freed from prison 11 years after killing girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius murdered Reeva Steenkamp by shooting her multiple times through a locked toilet door with a pistol

Alexander Butler
Thursday 04 January 2024 18:45 GMT
Oscar Pistorius to be freed 11 years after killing his girlfriend

Paralympian gold medalist Oscar Pistorius will be released from a South African prison on Friday, 11 years after he killed his model girlfriend.

The double amputee was convicted of murdering Reeva Steenkamp after he shot her multiple times through a locked toilet door with a 9mm pistol on Valentine’s Day at their Pretoria home in 2013.

Now, reportedly a grey-haired smoker who has turned to religion, the 37-year-old will begin his new life on parole a few miles away from the South African capital behind the high walls of his wealthy uncle’s guarded property, according to The Times.

A gun enthusiast, Pistorius claimed he thought Ms Steenkamp was an intruder but was convicted of culpable homicide, a crime similar to manslaughter, in 2014.

He was found guilty of the more serious charge of murder in 2015 and he was later sentenced to 13 years in prison after prosecutors won an appeal on the grounds that his initial sentence was too lenient.

Pistorius with Reeva Steenkamp in 2012, just months before he murdered her (AFP/Getty)

Last November, a private parole board hearing at Atteridgeville prison, where Pistorius is said to work on a farm and host Bible classes, set his release for 5 January 2024.

Once released, he will have to attend therapy for anger management and be unable to leave the area of Waterkloof, where he will be staying with his uncle, for five years.

He will not be allowed to consume alcohol and other prohibited substances and will be barred from conducting media interviews, according to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).

Pistorius will also be under the eye of a monitoring official, who will have to be kept informed when he is seeking job opportunities or moving homes.

The prison refused to release logistical details of how he will be released on Friday.

Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals (AFP via Getty)

“Disclosing such details may result in a security threat for the inmate and other stakeholders involved. Therefore, DCS has to carefully manage that particular risk,” the DCS said.

A journalist and friend of Pistorius, Mark Williams-Thomas, said: “There is still a lot of anger out there and no doubt there are those who would love the scalp of Oscar Pistorius.”

Pistorius will live on his uncle’s estate which is fortified by armed guards, security technology and canine patrols, which should provide a high level of protection.

Once rich from sponsorship deals with designer brands like Nike, Pistorius is said to have used his time in prison to learn about the stock market.

Mr Williams-Thomas said it was likely he could follow his uncle’s lucrative web of businesses, which include property, farming and tourism after his sentence expires.

A general view of Atteridgeville prison where Pistorius has served part of his sentence for murdering his girlfriend in 2013 (AP)

In the meantime, Mr Williams-Thomas said Pistorius could get involved in manual work and “definitely” charity work at some point.

Ahead of Pistorius’s parole hearing last year, Ms Steenkamp’s mother June said she did not believe he had thought her daughter was an intruder.

She said her child “screamed for her life” during the killing, which had left a “massive hole” for her family. But she also said she had forgiven Pistorius as she “would not be able to survive if I had to cling to my anger”.

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