South Africa 19.10.2015 12:48 pm

Pistorius in the final countdown to his release

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, 14 October 2014, on his second day of sentencing where he is facing charges of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.  EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, 14 October 2014, on his second day of sentencing where he is facing charges of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

Oscar Pistorius is on the final home stretch – with freedom less than twenty four hours away.

The paralympian was sentenced to five years for culpable homicide in October last year.

He was found guilty of killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after shooting her through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Pistorius’s defence was that he believed an intruder was in the bathroom and that he had been afraid for both his and Reeva’s safety when he fired the shots.

The trial was widely publicised around the world, and in a South African first, was broadcast live on television.

A heavy media contingent is expected to gather outside the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria on Tuesday when Pistorius is released.

He will likely also be met by a large gathering of journalists at his uncle’s upmarket Waterkloof home where he is expected to take up residence.

In South Africa, offenders who have been sentenced to five years or less are eligible for parole after serving a sixth of their sentence.

In Pistorius’s case, he was due to be released two months ago, but the Justice Ministry stopped it, saying the decision to release him had been “premature”.

However, last week the parole board gave his release the green light. He will now serve out the rest of his sentence under correctional supervision at his uncle’s luxurious mansion.

This is expected to include community service and psychotherapy.

The correctional services department is set to announce the parameters of his parole conditions on Tuesday.

Family spokesperson Anneliese Burgess told African News Agency that “the family will not be commenting today (Monday). We will consider putting out a statement tomorrow”.

However, Pistorius’s relative freedom may prove to be short lived as the appeal against his culpable homicide conviction has been set down in the Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal for November 3.

If that court convicts him of murder, he could face a lengthy jail term, with fifteen years the minimum sentence for a schedule 1 offence.

-African News Agency

 

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