South African former professional sprinter and convicted murderer, Oscar Pistorius is now a free man today after being smuggled out of prison after serving half his 13-year jail term.
The Blade Runner was escorted out of Atteridgeville Correctional Centre and taken to his new home on the estate of his uncle Arnold Pistorius outside Pretoria, 11 years after he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
He was granted an early release from prison on November 24, 2023, after a parole board review determined the 37-year-old was fit for social reintegration, and set his release date for January 5 of this year.
The disgraced Paralympian is ‘now at home’ after his release on parole Friday, authorities said, after a police car was seen pulling into his uncle’s home in the upscale Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria.
The announcement came at around 8:30am, indicating corrections officials had released the world-famous double-amputee Olympic runner in the early hours.
Upon his release, images emerged of a previous jail cell showing the conditions in which the former Paralympian lived.
His prosthetic legs are seen inside the small dingy cell, and family photos were plastered on the wall.
The tragedy of Steenkamp’s mother
Meanwhile, Steenkamp’s mother June said in a statement she is the one ‘serving a life sentence’ in her grief, and wished that the release of the man who murdered her daughter would help bring her some peace.
June Steenkamp believes Pistorius is guilty over the slaying of Reeva, but wants to step back out of the spotlight to mourn her daughter and husband Barry who died last September ‘from a broken heart.’
How Reeva died
Reeva died after Pistorius shot her four times through the bathroom door of their home on Valentine’s Day 2013.
He insisted it was an accident as he thought an intruder had broken into the house. Pistorius was released from Atteridgeville Corrections Centre 11 years after shooting Reeva dead.
He will remain under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and will be subject to parole conditions until his sentence expires in December 2029.
He will be assigned a monitoring official, who will have to be kept informed when Pistorius is seeking job opportunities or moving homes.
His uncle’s estate is fortified by armed guards, security technology, and canine patrols, which should provide a high level of protection from the media attention and potential attackers that are likely to descend on the compound following his release.