Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole After 11 Years for Killing Reeva Steenkamp: A Look Back at the Controversial Case

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole After 11 Years for Killing Reeva Steenkamp: A Look Back at the Controversial Case

Oscar Pistorius, a former Paralympic gold medallist, has been released on parole from prison in South Africa, after serving almost 11 years of his 13-year sentence for the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend.

South African prison officials said Pistorius, now 37, was at home on Friday morning after serving half of his sentence.

Pistorius claimed he mistook Ms Steenkamp for a burglar when he shot her multiple times through a door in 2013. She was a double amputee. Her mother said she accepts the decision to release Pistorius but that her family is serving a life sentence.

In 2015, Pistorius was found guilty of murder after the appeal court overturned his conviction on a lesser charge of culpable murder.

Pistorius is eligible for parole under South African law once he has served 50% of his sentence, which was set at 13 years, five months in 2017.

According to reports, Pistorius will remain under house arrest until his sentence ends in 2029, and is believed to be living with his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in an affluent suburb of Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole After 11 Years for Killing Reeva Steenkamp: A Look Back at the Controversial Case

The statement from June Steenkamp, the victim’s mother, said the family had always known that parole was a part of South Africa’s legal system and that “the law must do its job”.

She said she was pleased with the parole board’s decisions, which included anger management courses as well as programmes on gender based violence. “These decisions confirm Barry and my faith in the justice system,” she said, referring to her deceased husband. 

However, Ms Steenkamp added, “Has justice been served for Reeva, or has Oscar served enough? There is no justice for your loved one if they are never coming back. No amount of time they have served will bring them back. We are the ones who remain behind and it is us who will serve a life sentence.”

She said, “All I want is to be able to spend the rest of my life in serenity with my mind still focused on the Reeva Reeva steenkamp foundation to carry on Reeva’s legacy.”

Pistorius went to prison for the first time in October 2014, soon after his first conviction. He was released on house arrest between 2015 and 2016, before his conviction was overturned and his sentence was extended.

Pistorius had his lower legs amputated at the age of one, and had to rely on prosthetic legs to compete in track and field. He became a world-famous athlete, known as the “blade runner”. He competed in the Paralympics for the first time, winning multiple gold medals, and then cemented his reputation by competing against non-disabled athletes at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Just six months later, Pistorius was found guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp, and the following trials were front-page news around the world.

South Africa’s correctional services said the former star would be treated like any other person on parole, meaning he would be restricted from leaving his home for 24 hours a day and prohibited from consuming alcohol. They also said he would not be allowed to address the media. 

Steenkamp was a 29-year-old law graduate who was a successful model, TV presenter and reality show star. She had planned to launch a law firm for abused women after completing her studies.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp dead three months into their relationship at his home in Pretoria early on February 14, 2013, after he fired four rounds from a pistol through a door in the toilet cubicle.

She was shot and killed almost immediately.

Pistorius Pistorius was charged with murder but was found not guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

In 2014, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but the sentence was commuted to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

That same year, however, judges at South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal, ruling that Pistorius’ version of events was “contradictory and implausible” and that he had fired the shot without reasonable or genuine fear for his life.

In August 2012, Pistorius competed at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where he won a gold medal.

In February 2013, Pistorius shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend Rebecca Steenkamp.

In March 2014, the trial began.

In September 2014, the judge found Pistorius guilty on the charge of culpable murder.

In October 2014, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

In 2015, he was placed under house arrest.

In December 2015, the appeal court changed the verdict to murder.

In July 2016, he was sent back to prison for six years.

In November 2017, the appeal court increased the sentence to 13 and five months.

In June 2022, Pistorius met Reeva’s father Barry as part of the restorative justice program.

In November 2023, the Parole Board agreed that Pistorius should not be released.

In January 2024, he was released under parole conditions.