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Here is what you said about Oscar Pistorius 'being eligible for release' on parole

09 November 2021 - 11:00
Oscar Pistorius in the Pretoria magistrate's court on June 4 2013 with his brother Carl. Oscar was jailed for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. File photo.
Oscar Pistorius in the Pretoria magistrate's court on June 4 2013 with his brother Carl. Oscar was jailed for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

Many TimesLIVE readers have expressed dismay that former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius may be eligible for release on parole, saying his time in jail was not long enough.

This week the correctional services department announced that preparation for victim-offender dialogue was under way to consider whether Pistorius can be released on parole. 

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide in 2014 for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. 

His conviction was upgraded to murder in 2015. A six-year sentence imposed by the Pretoria high court in 2016 was later set aside by the Supreme Court of Appeal and replaced with a sentence of 13 years and five months.

The majority, or 42%, of those who took part in a poll conducted by TimesLIVE said talks about parole seem to have come too soon, 38% said he should be released on parole if he was eligible for it, and 20% said the decision should be up to the Steenkamp family. 

Speaking to Sunday Times Daily, the Steenkamp family’s lawyer Tania Koen said Reeva’s parents Barry and June have been mentally preparing themselves for years and wanted to speak to Pistorius. 

“Barry absolutely wants to speak to Oscar. I am not at liberty to disclose what the contents of that conversation will entail because of attorney-client privilege. But it is his right and something he wants,” Koen said.

On social media, users expressed different opinions on whether Pistorius should remain behind bars. 

“Yes, he should be let out of jail. He was not sentenced to life so he qualifies now for his parole. At some point we all need to let this chapter close, although Reeva’s family will never be able to fully recover from this. But Oscar has nonetheless done his half time, and he should be let out, provided he continues to support Reeva’s family financially at the very least,” said Thulani Nkosi.

Stan Mtonga said: “Yes, if he is eligible for parole, let him be released. As citizens, we will have different views and it’s not about us. So let him go out and start rebuilding his life.”

“He should stay in prison for his entire sentence. If this country is serious about fighting gender-based violence: no parole for rapists and murderers of women and children,” said Francoise Hannah Phillips.

“He deserves another chance. Surely he learned his lesson. No years served in jail can be enough to replace the life of the victim, but sure enough, he learned. Hopefully, he never makes the same mistakes again,” said Nyiko BlackJuiz Richmore.


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