South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been denied parole and subsequently will not be released from prison after hearing began today (Friday, 31 March 2023), a decade after he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The ‘blade runner’ will spend at least another year in the correctional centre and is expected to appear in court in August 2024 with half of the sentence yet to be served.
Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, firing four times through the bathroom door of his ultra-secure Pretoria house, in a killing that shocked the world.
Lawyers for Steenkamp’s family arrived at the correctional facility on the outskirts of the capital, where the hearing was taking place, amid a heavy media presence.
Steenkamp’s mother, June, is to appear before the board to “make representations” also on behalf of her husband, Barry, who is unable to travel because of ill health, lawyer Tania Koen said.
“They don’t feel that he should be released. They feel that he has shown no remorse,” she told reporters outside the prison.
Pistorius, 36, is being held at the same facility, where the parole board convened for a closed-door session at 10:00 am (0800 GMT).
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Pistorius addressed the hearing and responded to the Steenkamps’ submissions, Koen said.
“As you can imagine it’s painful. June has to face Oscar Pistorius again this morning. He is the killer of her daughter,” she said.
Comprising at least three people, including prison services and community members, the board is to determine whether the purpose of imprisonment has been served, according to the Department of Correctional Services.
Known worldwide as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics, Pistorius was found guilty of murder and given a 13-year jail sentence in 2017 after a lengthy trial and several appeals.
He had pleaded not guilty and denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar.