Pistorius to be released next week on parole

Pretoria, October 15

Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole next week after serving one year of his five-year jail term for killing Reeva Steenkamp, the South African department of correctional services said on Thursday.

The parole board “approved the placement of offender Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision as from 20 October 2015,” the department said in a statement. “The parole board considered all submissions the directives of the Parole Review Board and the submission of the victim’s family.”

The Paralympian star’s lawyers had argued that he should have been released and granted house arrest in August after serving one-sixth of his jail term sentence for killing Steenkamp in 2013. But he remained behind bars after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made a last-minute intervention.

After meeting last week, the parole board said it wanted to consult with Steenkamp’s family over Pistorius’s release. Steenkamp’s parents say Pistorius killed their daughter on purpose and have contested any parole.

Pistorius’s family had accused officials of bowing to “political and media hype” in denying him parole. “I do think correctional services have probably considered how unfairly he has been treated. He should have been released on August 21,” Brian Webber told AFP last week.

In a trial that made headlines around the world, Pistorius was jailed for killing Steenkamp, a model and law graduate. He was found guilty of culpable homicide.