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D-Day for Oscar Pistorius as he faces parole board this week – will he be released?


Oscar Pistorius, who has been behind bars since 2014 for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is expected to appear before the parole board on Friday where his fate will be decided.

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide. File Picture

A CRIME that caught the attention of the world will be brought back into the spotlight as Oscar Pistorius readies himself for his parole hearing on Friday.

The former South African Paralympian hero has been behind bars since 2014.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to 13 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013.

While the State alleged the murder was perpetrated in a fit of rage, Pistorius has maintained this was not the case and pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him.

Pistorius maintained he thought it was an intruder in the home when he shot through the bathroom door.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot on Valentine’s Day. File picture

Last year, Pistorius met with Reeva’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, as part of his rehabilitation.

Speaking to EWN, Tania Koen, a legal representative for the Steenkamps, said Reeva’s mother would be attending the hearing on Friday and would make representations to the parole board, which will include her and her husband’s impact statements.

Reeva’s father, Barry, is unable to travel due to ill health, Koen told the publication.

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Koen did not discuss the family’s position on the possible release of Pistorius but told the publication the family would make their submission and the law would take its course.

Previously, Pistorius was unsuccessful in appearing before the parole board.

He launched an application last year, but the hearing never went ahead as the matter was removed from the court roll by agreement.

The Supreme Court of Appeal cleared the confusion over his time spent in jail following the various appeals and orders it had issued.

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Speaking to AFP, a law professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Kelly Phelps, said the parole board, which consists of members from correctional services and community members, will consider whether an inmate has been rehabilitated or still poses a danger to society.

Phelps said the board will also take into account the seriousness of the offence as well as Pistorius’ behaviour during his time behind bars we well as his attendance of his education and life skills programmes.

Should parole be granted to Pistorius, Phelps said it would most likely come with some conditions.

She said, usually, parolees will face conditions such as monitoring from authorities and a duty to report to a community correction centre.

“It’s very common to have things like alcohol restrictions, restrictions on your ability to own firearms… and to require participation in counselling,” Phelps told the publication.

Day parole could also be an option. This is when an inmate is released for the day and returns to prison at night. Community service may also be on the cards.

The parole hearing will be a closed session.

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