Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been approved for release by the Parole Board, marking his upcoming freedom. However, he will spend another Christmas in prison before his release in January 2024, almost 11 years after he tragically murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day.
Pistorius' parole will last until December 2029. He will be subject to conditions like undergoing therapy to manage his anger issues. The Department of Correctional Services approved his parole as he is classified as a first-time offender with support, in line with rehabilitating offenders back into society. They said he will continue rehabilitation programs while under supervision to ensure compliance with parole conditions until his sentence ends.
Reeva's mother, June Steenkamp, does not believe Pistorius is rehabilitated. She fears for women's safety upon his release. June did not attend the parole hearing as she cannot face Pistorius again due to the pain caused by her daughter's death and recent loss of her husband Barry, who passed from a broken heart.
In her statement, June spoke of Reeva's promising future and advocacy for abuse/rape victims before her life was cut short. A hole was left in June and Barry's dreams as Reeva never fulfilled her wish to marry and have children.
June struggles with forgiveness as she does not accept Pistorius' claim that he mistook Reeva for an intruder, saying she heard Reeva screaming behind the bathroom door. While Pistorius will be released, justice remains unserved in June's view for her daughter's tragic death. She remains devastated by the loss over a decade later.