'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius released from South African prison on parole after girlfriend's murder

South Africa's former Paralympic champion fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

January 5, 2024, 4:23 AM

PRETORIA and LONDON -- Oscar Pistorius, the former South African runner who competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics, has been released from prison on parole nearly 11 years after he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The South African Department of Correctional Services announced Friday that Pistorius, 37, was admitted into the system of Community Corrections and is now at home.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide in 2014 after fatally shooting Steenkamp, a 29-year-old South African model, four times at his home on the morning of Feb. 14, 2013. He claimed he fired his gun after mistaking her for an intruder.

“The Department of Correctional Services affirms that a decision taken by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board on 24 November 2023 to place inmate Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius on parole, effectively from 5 January 2024," the South African Department of Correctional Services said in a statement Friday.

Steenkamp's mother said the pain of her murder is still "raw and real."

"Has there been justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back," June Steenkamp told ABC News in a statement Friday. "We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence."

In this file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius runs beside Venezuela's Albert Bravo in the men's 400m semi-final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 5, 2012.
Michael Dalder/Reuters

However, Steenkamp's mother said the conditions of Pistorius' release on parole have "affirmed" her family's belief in the South African justice system.

"We have always known that parole is part of the South African legal system, and we have always said that the law must take its course," she added. "The conditions imposed by the parole board, which includes anger management courses and programs on gender-based violence send out a clear message that gender based violence is taken seriously."

Pistorius' parole will last until Dec. 5, 2029. He is expected to serve the remainder of his 13 years and 5-month sentence at his uncle's home in Waterkloof, a suburb of Pretoria, under stringent parole conditions.

In accordance with South Africa's "General Parole conditions," Pistorius must be home at "particular hours" of the day. He is not allowed to consume "alcohol and other prohibited substances," the South African Department of Correctional Services said.

Pistorius must also attend compulsory programs identified by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board and is restricted from conducting any media interviews, according to the South African Department of Correctional Services.

The murder trial of the six-time Paralympic gold medalist -- popularly known as the "Blade Runner," a name derived from the Carbon-fibre prosthetics he wore while racing -- was publicized around the world. Pistorius was initially sentenced to six years behind bars in 2016, but that later increased to 13 years and five months after prosecutors argued the prison term was too lenient.

Related Topics