Oscar Pistorius to be released on house arrest

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Oscar Pistorius will be released on house arrest on October 20 after spending exactly one year in prison for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the country’s prisons department said Thursday.

The parole board considered all submissions, including the offender’s profile report, the directives of the Parole Review Board and the submission of the victim’s family, a statement from the department said.

The release was on the condition that Pistorius continued psychotherapy and adhered to a ban on him carrying a firearm.

A lawyer for the Steenkamp family, Tanya Koen, told the SABC broadcaster that the family had been informed of the decision.

Pistorius was due to be released on August 21, but his parole was blocked by Justice Minister Michael Masutha at the last minute on the grounds that the decision was “taken prematurely.”

The athlete, a double amputee below the knees who competed in the 2012 Olympics, fired four shots at Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. She died at the scene.

Pistorius claimed he thought she was a burglar. He was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced on October 21 last year.

Steenkamp’s parents believe Pistorius shot their daughter while he was in a rage and appealed to the parole board not to release him.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeals is due to decide on November 3 on whether the verdict against him should be changed to murder.

If the court changes the verdict, Pistorius faces a longer sentence and would have to return to jail.

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