By Milcah Tanimu
Oscar Pistorius, South Africa’s former Olympic runner, has been released from prison on parole, nearly 11 years after the tragic shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The 37-year-old double-amputee, known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, was discreetly moved from Atteridgeville prison outside Pretoria, having served over half of his sentence.
The Department of Correctional Services confirmed Pistorius’s release, stating that he is now under the supervision of the Community Corrections system and is at home. A condition of his parole is that he is not allowed to communicate with the media.
Pistorius gained global attention in 2013 when he shot Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door of his heavily secured Pretoria residence on Valentine’s Day. Despite his historic achievement as the first double-amputee to compete at the Olympic level in the 2012 London Games, he was found guilty of murder in 2017, receiving a 13-year sentence after a protracted legal process and multiple appeals.
June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, released a statement expressing acceptance of the justice system’s decision but emphasizing the ongoing pain caused by the loss of her daughter. Pistorius is required to undergo therapy for anger and gender-based violence issues during his parole, which extends until 2029. Additional conditions include abstaining from alcohol and other substances, completing community service, and adhering to specified home hours. June Steenkamp sees these conditions as a message from the justice system that gender-based violence is treated seriously in the country.