Double-amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison on parole after serving nearly ten years for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. Pistorius’ parole, approved in November, met the eligibility criteria under South African law – having served half of his 13-year sentence.
Following his release from Atteridgeville Correctional Centre on Friday morning, Pistorius will remain bound by parole conditions until his sentence concludes in 2029. While Pistorius claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, he was originally convicted of manslaughter in 2014. Subsequent appeals saw his sentence upgraded to murder and then increased to 13 years and five months.
Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June, responded to the release with a statement, saying, “There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.” She added, “We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.”
Pistorius will now participate in community corrections programs, including mandatory sessions addressing gender-based violence and anger management. He will also be subject to restrictions on alcohol and prohibited substances, specific curfew hours, and limitations on media interaction.
While Pistorius’ release marks the end of his incarceration, the case continues to cast a long shadow. Steenkamp’s family seeks solace in their hope for peace, while questions of accountability and justice remain. The release of Oscar Pistorius on parole is sure to reignite these conversations in the years to come.