Family anger as Oscar Pistorius release is scheduled for Aug. 21
Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee sprinter who shot dead his girlfriend, is scheduled to be freed on parole on Aug. 21 after serving just 10 months in jail, officials said Monday.
The proposed release date provoked an angry reaction from the parents of model and television presenter Reeva Steenkamp, 29, who Pistorius shot on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Pistorius, a role model around the world after competing in the Paralympics and Olympics, claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, firing four shots through a locked bathroom door.
“Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough,” her parents June and Barry Steenkamp said a statement released online.
“We fear that this
will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent it should.”
The statement added that the family had “forgiven” Pistorius and did “not seek to avenge” their daughter’s death.
Pistorius, 28, was found guilty last year of culpable homicide — a charge akin to manslaughter — and sentenced to five years in prison for shooting Steenkamp.
“He has been recommended for correctional supervision on August 21,” Zach Modise, commissioner of the correctional services, told AFP.
“Normally, this will mean house arrest with one hour of free time each day. As he progresses, we will relax these conditions.”
The correctional services’ recommendation will now await final confirmation from the parole board, which is due to issue its decision this week.