Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole: A Travesty Of Justice?

Controversial Decision To Set Pistorius Free

The scales of justice. Credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

TODAY it has been announced that former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, convicted for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will soon leave prison.

On January 5, Pistorius is set to return to his uncle Arnold Pistorius’s residence in Waterkloof, Pretoria. The decision was announced by the correctional services department on Friday, November 24.

The ruling means that 37-year-old Pistorius will be released from prison on January 5, albeit under tight regulations, until the end of December 2029.

After this, his parole expires, upon which he will be granted complete freedom, according to South African media Times Live.

Pistorius was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine’s Day in 2013, after he claimed he thought she was a burglar. At the time he was sentenced to over 13 years in prison.

Pistorius’ Parole Hearing

Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, described her husband Barry’s death in September as a result of a broken heart. While she was not present at the parole hearing she commented: ‘I simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage.’

She also mentioned that she has chosen to forgive him, as in her words: ‘I knew most certainly that I would not be able to survive if I had to cling to my anger.’

Rob Matthews, father of Leigh Matthews, a murder victim, represented June Steenkamp at the parole board meeting. The meeting took place at Atteridgeville Prison outside Pretoria.

Matthews stated, ‘It was a privilege and an honour to be her voice and to speak out for victims.’ He stressed the importance of victim involvement in parole hearings. ‘I wish all victims could realise they are not voiceless,’ Matthews added, emphasising the need for victims to express their concerns and be heard.

The Steenkamp and Matthews families share a tragic bond. Both families have suffered the loss of their  daughters, murdered by violent men. The families also experienced similar frustrations with parole hearings. In 2023, the Steenkamps and Matthews commemorated what would have been their daughters’ 40th birthdays.

Pistorius’s Future Under Supervision

Under the terms of his parole, Pistorius must engage in regular and obligatory therapy. These sessions aim to address his issues with anger and his violent tendencies towards women.

A spokesperson from the correctional services, Singabakho Nxumalo, classified Pistorius as a first-time offender with a strong support system. ‘Pistorius will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections,’ Nxumalo explained. He added that Pistorius will be subject to supervision until his sentence concludes on January 1, 2030.

Pistorius’s parole restrictions include mandatory anger and violence management training. Additionally, he cannot leave the Waterkloof magisterial district without prior permission. Compliance with these conditions is crucial for maintaining his parole status.

Tomorrow, November 24, the United Nations will focus on gender violence, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. While the letter of the law may have been served in this case, many will question the message this sends out to the rest of the world.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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