Pistorius to be freed after only 10 months



South African officials have announced that Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who shot dead his girlfriend, will be freed on parole in August after serving just 10 months in jail.

The proposed release date, announced on Monday, provoked an angry reaction from the parents of model and television presenter Reeva Steenkamp, 29, who Pistorius shot on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

Pistorius, a role model around the world after competing in the Paralympics and Olympics, claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, firing four shots through a locked bathroom door.

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“Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough,” her parents June and Barry Steenkamp said in a statement released online.

“We fear that this will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent it should.”

The statement added that the family had “forgiven” Pistorius and did “not seek to avenge” their daughter’s death.

Pistorius, 28, was found guilty last year of culpable homicide – a charge akin to manslaughter – and sentenced to five years in prison for shooting Steenkamp.

“He has been recommended for correctional supervision on August 21,” Zach Modise, commissioner of the correctional services, told AFP.

“Normally, this will mean house arrest with one hour of free time each day. As he progresses, we will relax these conditions.”

The correctional services’ recommendation will now await final confirmation from the parole board, which is due to issue its decision this week.

State prosecutors are appealing against his conviction for culpable homicide, saying he should have been found guilty of murder.

The appeal hearing was set on Monday for November – three months after Pistorius could be freed.

“A specific date has not been set yet, but we can confirm that the appeal will happen in November this year,” a Supreme Court official, who declined to be named, told AFP.

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