Pistorius released on parole – nearly 11 years after murdering girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius has been freed on parole nearly 11 years after murdering his girlfriend in a case that made global headlines.

The former Paralympic champion – once celebrated as the ‘blade runner’ – was granted parole in November and today left a South African jail and is now at home, South Africa’s correctional services department said.

Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

The 37-year-old said he fired his gun through a bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder.

Prosecutors said the killing was premeditated and he shot Ms Steenkamp after she fled to the toilet following a row.

The parole will last until December 2029 and Pistorius will be subject to restrictions and supervised by a correctional services official.

He must also attend therapy for anger issues and “gender-based violence issues”, and will do community service.

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He was expected to stay in his uncle’s Pretoria mansion.

Ms Steenkamp’s mother said in November she still didn’t believe Pistorius’s claim that he thought he was shooting at a burglar.

FILE -- In this Wednesday, June 15, 2016 file photo Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after his sentencing proceedings. The Pistorius case is back in court, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, with prosecutors seeking a longer jail sentence for the double-amputee athlete after he was found guilty of murder for shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
Oscar Pistorius leaving court in 2016

She also said she wasn’t convinced Pistorius had been rehabilitated.

Pistorius was initially not found guilty of murder and convicted of culpable homicide (equivalent to manslaughter) in a case that was broadcast on live TV.

He was sentenced to five years in 2014 and eventually released to house arrest.

A year later, the conviction was overturned by South Africa‘s supreme court and he was found guilty of murder.

Pistorius was given six years in 2016 – later increased to 13 years and five months after it was deemed “shockingly lenient”.

Serious offenders are eligible for parole in South Africa after serving at least half their sentence.

Pistorius was denied parole in March 2023 after a court said he had applied too early.

However, his lawyer said the court’s calculations were a mistake, and eight months later the decision went his way.

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