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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Oscar Pistorius’ lawyer disappointed he won’t be home for Christmas 

Pistorius was granted parole after serving a total of eight years for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day 2013.

With less than two months before convicted killer Oscar Pistorius is released from prison,  his lawyer has welcomed the decision to grant him parole but said they are disappointed that he will only be released in January next year.

The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) convened at the Atteridgeville Prison in Pretoria on Friday to consider him for early release and announced his parole effective 5 January 2024 after having served eight years in prison.

In 2017, the former Olympic athlete was sentenced to 13 years and five months for the 2013 murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day. He opened fire at her while she was standing behind a locked bathroom door in his house.

Parole welcomed

Pistorius’ lawyer Conrad Dormehl told The Citizen they welcome the Parole Board’s decision’s ruling that Pistorius is to be placed on parole.

“Whilst we are grateful for the certainty which has been provided in relation to the date on which he will finally be released on parole, we are disappointed that the date is not sooner, particularly following the order handed down by Constitutional Court which found that Mr. Pistorius was eligible for parole as early as March of this year.”

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Pistorius’s parole has been subject to various condition.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said once released, Pistorius will be monitored by the authorities until his sentence officially expires “just like all other parolees”.

If he wants to move house or get a job during that time he will have to notify his parole officer and may not leave the magisterial district of Waterkloof for any reason without first obtaining permission.

He is also required to undergo anger and violence management training and will remain under correctional supervision for nearly six years. If he makes it to that date without breaking his parole conditions or reoffending, he will be free from January 1 2030.

Barry’s broken heart

In an impact statement letter read out to the parole board during Friday’s hearing, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother June said she did not oppose his release but wondered whether Pistorius’s “huge anger issues” were truly dealt with in prison.

Rob Matthews read out the emotional statement on her behalf, which also spoke about the recent death of Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp.

June said she does not believe that her daughter’s killer has been rehabilitated.

“My dear Barry left this world utterly devastated by the thought that he had failed to protect his daughter and therefore in his role as father, as he perceived it. The only hope he had left, was that Oscar would find it in himself to eventually tell the full truth

“My dear Barry left this world utterly devastated by the thought that he had failed to protect his daughter… I’ve no doubt that he died of a broken heart,” June said.

Parole bid

This was Pistorius’s second parole hearing in under a year.

The CSPB previously denied the 36-year-old’s bid for freedom in March after a communique from the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) said he had not served the minimum amount of jail time require

However, Pistorius approached the Constitutional Court, which in October confirmed the Paralympian had been eligible for parole for more than six months after he had served half of his sentence by 21 March.

ALSO READ: South Africans divided on Oscar’s parole