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Oscar Pistorius to be released on parole - 11 years after murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

By primenewsghana
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Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison on Friday, nearly 11 years after murdering his girlfriend.

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

He said he fired his gun through a bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder in the early hours.

The decision to grant the 37-year-old parole was made in November.

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

He must attend therapy for anger issues and "gender-based violence issues" and will do community service.

The athlete - once celebrated as the 'blade runner' - is expected to spend parole at his uncle's Pretoria mansion.

Ms Steenkamp's mother said in November she still did not believe Pistorius's claim he thought he was shooting at a burglar when he killed her daughter.

"My dearest child screamed for her life... I believe he knew it was Reeva," June Steenkamp said in a statement.

She also said she wasn't convinced Pistorius had been rehabilitated, as "rehabilitation requires someone to engage honestly with the full truth of his crime and the consequences".

Pistorius's case - a decade ago - was televised in a blaze of publicity.

The prosecution argued the killing was premeditated and that he shot Ms Steenkamp after she fled to the toilet following a row.

He was initially not found guilty of murder and instead convicted of culpable homicide (the equivalent of manslaughter).

Pistorius 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.

It ruled he should have foreseen the possibility of killing someone when he fired shots into the bathroom.

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.

Pistorius's legs were amputated below the knee at 11 months old because of a congenital defect.

He went on to compete at the Paralympics and achieved worldwide fame as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.

While locked up, Pistorius's father said his son had held Bible classes for other prisoners.

He also met Ms Steenkamp's father, Barry, in 2022 as part of a restorative justice programme that brings offenders and victims together. Mr Steenkamp died in September.

However, there have also been some glimpses of trouble, including a row over a phone that left him needing medical treatment.