Oscar Pistorius on parole after meeting Reeva Steenkamp’s parents


Could disgraced former Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius be released by the parole board soon, is the question on everyone’s lips after meeting Reeva Steenkamp’s parents.

Pistorius, who was convicted of Steenkamp’s murder and sentenced to prison in 2015, was unable to apply for parole despite serving enough time to be eligible. But after it became clear on July 1 that he had met the Steenkamps in June, authorities said he had now met all the requirements to meet the parole board.

In South Africa, offenders are required to serve at least half their sentence, which Pistorius has. But in his case and in that of murderers and others guilty of committing serious crimes against others, they are required to meet the family of the deceased or the person they harmed before being eligible for parole. .

The Department of Corrections confirmed he had completed the final condition of parole in a statement on Friday which read, “It was November 2021 when we issued a statement about the need for Pistorius to be at the Correctional Center of St Albans in the Eastern Cape, as the victims were based at Gqeberha.

“We can now confirm that the VOD process has been completed.

“It is necessary to emphasize that prisoners are required to participate in VOD as part of their rehabilitation journey in which they are able to recognize the harm they have caused to their victims and to society as a whole. “

It is understood that the Department of Corrections had moved Pistorius to a local jail to allow him to meet the Steenkamps in their home town of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth. This after previous parole applications were denied as he had not yet fulfilled this requirement.

Pistorius, who was transferred to Atteridgeville Correctional Facility in Tshwane, is not automatically eligible for parole, with the department saying meeting the family: ‘does not equate to an end of sentence or release conditional”.

Pistorius has been found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp in a case that has drawn worldwide attention. Not only did the case attract attention because of his fame, but also because of the failure of the first judge to convict him despite the evidence, resulting in a forced retrial after a massive public outcry at the level. local.

Steenkamp was shot through the bathroom door of their shared home. Pistorius claimed in his defense that he heard noises in the bathroom and that suspicious thieves called, but after receiving no response he fired several shots through the door, killing Steenkamp instantly. .

Pistorius, who rose to fame as a double amputee, was on a downward slope after failing to win gold at the London Olympics. Pistorius won silver by accusing organizers of allowing gold medalist Oliveira to use illegal blades.

With both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months due to a congenital condition, Pistorius had carved out a wonderful career for himself, earning worldwide fame for his performances as a Paralympian. Always determined to win, Pistorius also took part in a number of races against able-bodied sportsmen with mixed results.

Although the department said Pistorius was not automatically eligible for parole, his lawyers are expected to file for a parole board hearing as soon as possible. He would have been a model prisoner who has now fulfilled all the conditions for parole, including meeting the parents of Reeva Steenkamp.

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