Oscar Pistorius makes new parole bid 10 years after killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

1 hour ago
About sharing

Pistorius is serving 13 years for murder, after killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.
By Daniel De Simone
BBC News, Atteridgeville prison

Former Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius is making another bid for early release from the South African prison where he is serving over 13 years for murdering his girlfriend.

Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp 10 years ago at his home in Pretoria in a killing that shocked the world, and has been in prison since 2014.

The parole hearing is at Atteridgeville prison, just outside Pretoria.

Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June, is not opposing parole.

June Steenkamp will not be present at the hearing, her lawyer Tania Koen told the BBC. A victim impact statement from her will be read to the parole board.

Reeva Steenkamp’s father Barry died in September.

It is unclear how quickly the parole board will decide, but it could be fast. In the event Pistorius is granted parole, a date will be set for his release.

Among other factors, the parole board will consider Pistorius’s conviction, his conduct while in prison, and the risk he poses to the public.

Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was a law graduate and successful model.

She was killed when Pistorius fired four shots with a pistol through the door of a toilet cubicle at his Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in February 2013.

Pistorius, now 37, claimed at trial he thought an intruder was present in the house and that Ms Steenkamp was still in bed.

He was convicted of murder in 2015 at the Supreme Court of Appeal having initially only been convicted of the lesser offence of culpable homicide.

The Supreme Court ruled that Pistorius’s account of the night “varied substantially” and that he had “fired without having a rational or genuine fear that his life was in danger”.

The judges said the case involved a “human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions”.

A first parole hearing for Pistorius in March collapsed when the authorities decided he had not completed the minimum detention period required to be released.

But last month, the Constitutional Court found that was a mistake, leading to the fresh hearing on Friday.

Pistorius’s lower legs were amputated when he was less than a year old. He subsequently relied on prosthetics and became a world-renowned athlete known as the “blade runner”.

He won multiple gold medals at the Paralympics. He also competed against non-disabled athletes at the London 2012 Olympics.

The murder of Reeva Steenkamp and subsequent criminal process dominated headlines around the world.

Sign up for our morning newsletter and get BBC News in your inbox.

Related Topics