On 31 March 2023, Oscar Pistorius will attend a parole hearing to determine whether he will be released from prison. While a prisoner is eligible for parole after having served half of their sentence, Women for Change wholeheartedly opposes the parole application of Oscar Pistorius.
We support Reeva Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, and maintain that Oscar Pistorius should serve the full sentence of 13 years for the brutal murder of Reeva.
Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of killing Reeva, on 14 February 2013, after shooting her multiple times through the bathroom door in his home. Oscar Pistorius alleged that he thought she was an intruder. Initially, he was found guilty of manslaughter in 2014 and sentenced to six years, but the conviction was later changed to murder, with a 13-year prison term.
Oscar Pistorius could be released from jail ‘within weeks’ after serving half his sentence
Oscar Pistorius’ parole hearing was initially scheduled for last year; however, certain requirements were not met, and the hearing did not go ahead. Having served half his sentence, he is eligible for parole, but this does not mean he will automatically be released.
Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, met with Oscar Pistorius last year as part of the Victim-Offender Dialogue facilitated by the Department of Correctional Services. This program is part of the rehabilitation process for parole candidates. It aims to provide closure for the victim’s family and an opportunity for the perpetrator to seek forgiveness.
Barry Steenkamp went to face Oscar Pistorius in jail, but June Steenkamp declined the invitation. Instead, the mother wrote a letter to the athlete. Reeva’s parents said to the media that they initially forgave Oscar Pistorius for killing their daughter, but since he refused to admit to them that he deliberately shot their daughter, they will be opposing his early release.
Tania Koen, attorney for the Steenkamps, explains that the family was made aware of the hearing by the Department of Correctional Services and, based on the rights afforded to the families of victims, the Steenkamps can attend the hearing and deliver written submissions to oppose the parole application if they so choose.
We are standing with June and Barry Steenkamp and we oppose the parole application of Oscar Pistorius, as he has failed to admit his guilt or show any remorse for the murder of Reeva. In order to advance change in our society, we need to hold perpetrators accountable.
#JusticeForReeva #WomenForChange #endviolenceagainstwomen
Statement published on 22 March 2023 by Women For Change