Johannesburg – South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, who killed his girlfriend 10 years ago, will know in a few weeks whether he will be released on parole.
“We have been advised by the parole board that the hearing will take place on the 31 March 2023,” his lawyer Julian Knight said on Thursday. “It’s an internal process.”
Pistorius, now 36, shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the bathroom door of his ultra-secure Pretoria house.
He pleaded not guilty and denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.
Pistorius, known worldwide as the “Blade Runner” because of his carbon-fibre prosthetics, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
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Offenders in South Africa are automatically eligible to be considered for parole after serving half their sentence. Pistorius has served more than half.
A decision is usually known the same day of the parole hearing or a day later, and “if the decision is negative, the offender has the right to approach the courts for review”, said Knight.
As part of his rehabilitation, Pistorius met Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry last year, in a process authorities said would ensure inmates “acknowledge the harm they have caused to their victims and the society at large”.
Tania Koen, who represents Reeva’s parents, said “every offender once they have served a certain portion of their sentence is entitled to be eligible to be considered for placement on parole and Oscar Pistorius is no different”.
A year before killing Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first double amputee to race at the Olympics at the London 2012 games.
He was initially sentenced to six years in jail but the term was later lengthened to 13 after the State appealed to the court that it was unduly lenient.
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