Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole next week after serving one year of a five-year term for killing his girlfriend, officials said today, with the Paralympian star likely to be put under strict house arrest.
Lawyers for Pistorius had argued he should have been allowed out in August after serving a sixth of his sentence for killing model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
But he remained behind bars after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention and the case was referred for review.
Steenkamp’s parents say Pistorius killed their daughter on purpose and have contested any parole.
“They are not surprised at all — it was expected,” Tania Koen, a lawyer acting on behalf of Steenkamp family, said after speaking to June and Barry Steenkamp today.
“But it doesn’t change anything in their lives. Their daughter is still not coming back.
“Whether Pistorius is incarcerated or released on parole, their daughter is still gone.”
After meeting last week, the parole board said it wanted to consult with Steenkamp’s family over Pistorius’s possible release.
An official statement from the department of correctional services said the parole board “approved the placement of offender Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision” from Tuesday.
“The parole board considered all submissions, including the offender’s profile report, the directives of the Parole Review Board and the submission of the victim’s family.”
It gave no details about Pistorius parole conditions except that they included “continued psychotherapy” and firearms restrictions.
Legal experts said the decision entailed house arrest, with severe restrictions on his movement. He may have to wear a tracking tag and report regularly to a local police station.