Oscar Pistorius to be released from jail
Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole next Tuesday, a year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, authorities said on Thursday.
“They considered all factors; the submission, the profile of the offender, the submission of the family of the victim, as well as the recommendations of the parole review board, and took a decision that – with effect from the 20th of October – Oscar Pistorius will be placed under correctional supervision in his own community. From that date up to the time that he finishes his sentence,” explained Manelisi Wolela, the spokesperson for the Department Of Correctional Services.
The Olympic and Paralympic track star is currently behind bars at the Kgosi Mampuru prison in the South African capital Pretoria.
He was convicted of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, last September after a seven-month trial.
Pistorius killed his girlfriend, model and law graduate Steenkamp, after he fired four 9mm shots through a locked toilet door on February 14, 2013.
At a globally televised trial, Pistorius argued that he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.
The Department of Correctional Services announced further conditions for his release.
“In addition to the basic conditions of correctional supervision, they will add two conditions, which were prescribed by the parole review board, relating to the Fire Arms Control Act Section 103. And then the second one is with regard to the continued psychotherapy treatment of Oscar Pistorius while he is under correctional supervision,” said Wolela.
As news of the athlete’s release broke, some people in the streets of Pretoria welcomed the development.
“It’s the right decision because no one can really prove that he killed his girlfriend on purpose, or whether it was his instincts,” said Boipelo Radebe.
“This guy should go home and go back to running, because here in South Africa we win because of him,” said Mncedisi.
Prosecutors are appealing the culpable homicide verdict, arguing it should be murder because Pistorius must have known that the person behind the door could have been killed by his actions.
The appeal is due to be heard on November 3.
Known as “Blade Runner” because of his carbon-fibre prosthetics, Pistorius became one of the biggest names in world athletics at the London 2012 Olympics when he reached the semi-finals of the 400m race while running against able-bodied athletes.