Oscar Pistorius to be released on parole in January, a decade after killing girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison Jan. 5, as he was granted parole in a hearing at Atteridgeville Correctional Facility in South Africa on Friday. The decision comes almost 11 years after the former South African sprinter was convicted of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

In 2013, Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through his bathroom door with a licensed 9mm pistol late on Valentine's Day. Accused of killing the 29-year-old in anger, Pistorius claimed he mistook her for a hiding intruder. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2014, a charge that was ultimately amended to murder. His sentence was increased from five years to 13 years and five months in 2017. He turned 37 this week.

Pistorius was allowed house arrest in 2015 during a brief hearing for one of the many appeals in his case. He was imprisoned again afterward. He has been completing his sentence in the jail that hosted his parole hearing Friday in South Africa's capital of Pretoria.

FILE - Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 15, 2016, after his sentencing proceedings. Pistorius could be granted parole on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023 after nearly 10 years in prison for killing his girlfriend. The double-amputee Olympic runner was convicted of a charge comparable to third-degree murder for shooting Reeva Steenkamp in his home in 2013. He has been in prison since late 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
Oscar Pistorius will be free in January. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

Upon his 2024 release, Pistorius will reportedly be prohibited from leaving Pretoria. The terms of his parole also reportedly require him to undergo programs for anger issues and violence against women, as well as community service.

“Parole does not mean the end of the sentence. It is still part of the sentence. It only means the inmate will complete the sentence outside a correctional facility,” Department of Corrections spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said, according to The Associated Press. “What will happen is that Mr. Pistorius will be allocated a monitoring official. This official will work with him until his sentence expires.”

Pistorius, nicknamed "Blade Runner," gained stardom in the 2010s. The Paralympic star became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics when he ran the 400-meter dash at the 2012 London games. His murder trial was followed globally, unfolding at the height of his professional success. Steenkamp was working as a model after completing law school and had been dating the athlete for three months.

Pistorius’ recent hearing was his second in eight months. He was denied parole at a hearing in March, reportedly due to an error.

Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp, died in September. Her mother, June Steenkamp, has become an activist against domestic violence. In a statement released prior to Friday's decision, she issued a warning surrounding Pistorius' release.

“At this time, I am not convinced that Oscar has been rehabilitated,” her statement said, via CNN. “Rehabilitation requires someone to engage honestly with the full truth of his crime and the consequences thereof. Nobody can claim to have remorse if they are not able to engage fully with the truth. If someone does not show remorse, they cannot be considered to be rehabilitated. If they are not rehabilitated, their risk of recidivism is high.”