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24th Apr 2024

Who is Oscar Pistorius? From Paralympian to convicted murderer to parole

Anna Martin

Oscar Pistorius

Convicted murderer, Oscar Pistorius has been pictured for the first time since his release from prison

Nearly 11 years after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the former Paralympian was spotted out and about for the first time after serving seven years behind bars.

Dressed casually, Pistorius appeared to be running errands around Pretoria, just a few kilometres from his uncle’s fortified compound where he is reportedly living.

He was officially released on parole on January 5th of this year.

His parole will last from January 2024 until December 2029 and he will be subject to conditions.

Pistorius must attend therapy for anger issues and “gender-based violence issues,” and he will do community service.

We’re taking a look back at the timeline of his case.

February 14th, 2013

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius Credit: Getty

When Pistorius is at the is at the height of his fame, South African police announced that he had been arrested in connection with the Valentine’s Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his villa in the capital, Pretoria.

He fired four shots through a locked toilet door, hitting the model and paralegal in the head, hip and arm.

The bombshell news reverberates around the world when the athlete is charged with murder.

March 3rd, 2014

Pistorius’ murder trial began at the Pretoria High Court, where the court proceedings after filmed live.

While Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp by mistake believing she was an intruder in his home, prosecutors allege that he killed her intentionally in a late-night argument.

The trial lasted for seven months, during which Pistorius cried and at times vomited in the courtroom as prosecutors described Steenkamp’s fatal shooting.

He also undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.

During the whole thing, the Paralympian’s image is shattered as it is revealed that he has a history of being verbally abusive towards his girlfriends and has previously acted recklessly with guns.

One of these incidents includes the time he was angry and fired a gun through the sunroof of a moving car, an ex-girlfriend tells the court.

September 12th, 2014

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius Credit: Getty

Pistorius is acquitted of murder by a judge but found guilty of a charge comparable to manslaughter for killing Steenkamp.

He is also convicted on a separate charge relating to him and a group of friends recklessly firing a gun under a table in a restaurant.

He is sentenced to five years in prison.

Prosecutors say they will appeal the “shockingly light” sentence.

December 3rd, 2015

A panel of judges at South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturns the manslaughter conviction and finds him guilty of murder.

The trial judge sentences him to six years in prison for murder, which prosecutors again opt to appeal.

November 24th, 2017

The Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubles Pistorius’ sentence to 13 years and five months in prison.

Pistorius had been first jailed at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, but he was moved to the city’s Atteridgeville Correctional Centre.

June 22nd, 2022

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius Credit: Getty

Pistorius meets face-to-face with Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp, as part of a victim-offender dialogue that he has to complete if he wants to be eligible to be released on parole.

After their meeting, Barry who died last year, says after that he still believes Pistorius is lying about his daughter’s killing and wants him to stay in prison for life.

24 November, 2023

The Department of Correctional Services said that Pistorius would be released on parole effective from the 5th of January, 2024, after a hearing in Pretoria.

5th January 2024

Pistorius is released on parole.