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Oscar Pistorius has been denied early release from prison

Oscar Pistorius has been denied early release from prison

The former Paralympic champion was sentenced to 13 years in prison for murdering wife Reeva Steenkamp in 2013

Oscar Pistorius has lost his appeal for parole.

The former Paralympic champion learned today (31 March) that the murder conviction he received for the death of his wife, Reeva Steenkamp, had been rejected.

For over a decade, Pistorius has maintained his innocence, claiming that he accidentally shot her at his home on Valentine's Day in 2013, thinking she was an intruder.

Despite his pleas, the 36-year-old was eventually, following an initial verdict of manslaughter, found guilty of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.

And now, having served half of his sentence, Pistorius was eligible for parole.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed in 2013.
Gallo Images/Alamy

Explaining the decision to deny Pistorius' request, the Department of Correctional Services in South Africa said that he had not served the required time.

In a statement released following the ruling, the body said: "The Department of Correctional Services has received the decision of the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) on the parole consideration for inmate Oscar Leonard Pistorius.

"The CSPB granted inmate Pistorius a further profile for August 2024.

"The reason provided is that the inmate did not complete the minimum Detention Period as ruled by the Supreme Court of Appeal(SCA) (as per the clarification provided on 28 March 2023)."

Prior to the decision, Steenkamp's mother, June Steenkamp, said that she didn't believe he should be released.

Lawyer Tania Koen said that unless Pistorius 'comes clean' about what happened to their daughter, her parents 'don’t feel that he is rehabilitated'.

She said: “She doesn’t feel that he must be released.

“He’s the killer of their daughter. For them, it’s a life sentence.

"For them, it’s 10 missed birthdays, 10 Mother’s Days, 10 Father’s Days, 10 Christmases."

June Steenkamp said she didn't believe Oscar Pistorus should be released from prison.
Sipa US/Alamy

Pistorius' conviction initially saw sent to the maximum security Kgosi Mampuru II prison, one of South Africa’s most notorious.

The former athlete is currently being held at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria, and has been behind bars for the past seven years.

He was moved to Atteridgeville due to it being more suitable for disabled prisoners.

Pistorius’s parole lawyer, Julian Knight, previously said the former runner had been a 'model prisoner'.

His father, Henke Pistorius, said in a 2018 interview that he was running Bible classes for other inmates.

There have also been flashes of trouble, however, as Pistorius sustained an injury in an altercation with another inmate over a public telephone in 2017.

A year earlier, he received treatment for injuries to his wrists, which his family denied were a result of him harming himself.

Pistorius has been seeking parole since 2021, but a hearing that year was cancelled partly because he had not yet met with Mr and Mrs Steenkamp in a process known as a victim-offender dialogue.

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS/Abaca Press/Alamy

Topics: Olympics, Sport, Crime