Former South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was released from prison on January 5, almost eleven years after the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. On November 24 he was released on conditional release.
Pistorius, 37, left Atteridgeville prison on the outskirts of Pretoria in the early hours of the morning after serving more than half his sentence. He was banned from speaking to the media.
In a statement released a few minutes before Pistorius’ release, June Steenkamp, the victim’s mother, instead said that she and the other family members are “sentenced for life”.
The Steenkamp family did not formally oppose the early release, but the victim’s mother has repeatedly stated that Pistorius “has not been rehabilitated” in prison.
On the night between 13 and 14 February 2013, the man fired four shots at his girlfriend, a 29-year-old model, through the bathroom door in the bedroom of his home in Pretoria.
Six-time Paralympic athletics champion, Pistorius was at the peak of his career. A year earlier, at the London Olympics he had participated in the 400 meters alongside the able-bodied athletes, despite the amputation of both legs.
“Blade Runner”, as he was nicknamed for his carbon prostheses, justified himself by saying that he thought an intruder had entered the bathroom. In 2014 he was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter.
However, the prosecutor’s office appealed, requesting that the case be classified as voluntary homicide. In 2017 the Supreme Court of Appeal sentenced Pistorius to more than thirteen years in prison. Abandoned by his sponsors, Pistorius had to sell his house to pay his lawyers.
Therapy against violence against women
As part of the proceedings to obtain conditional release, Pistorius met with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents in 2022. It is a mandatory formal step in which prisoners are asked to “acknowledge the harm caused”.
The victim’s father died in September 2023.
According to the conditional release agreement, Pistorius will have to undergo therapy for anger control, therapy against violence against women and carry out community work until his sentence expires in 2029.
Furthermore, he will not be able to consume alcohol and during certain hours of the day he will not be able to leave the house assigned to him in Pretoria.
The post first appeared on www.internazionale.it