‘Pistorius’ release on parole sends wrong message to GBV offenders’

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The Women for Change Organisation says the release of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius on parole tomorrow sends a wrong message to society.

The Department of Correctional Services has reaffirmed a decision by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board last month to place Pistorius on parole. The 37-year-old was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

Pistorius will be monitored while on parole for another five years after he leaves prison.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Bulelwa Adonis says there is a lack of accountability in the fight against gender-based violence in the country.

” So, despite these restrictions what are we telling society, what message is being conveyed? What exactly are we telling everybody else who could possibly have the desire to commit femicide, we’re saying you know what it’s okay you won’t serve your full sentence. So, despite the restrictions, I think it’s important that accountability is a thing in our country which as an organisation, we feel like we really lack greatly in accountability,” says Adonis.

In 2022, Pistorius met Steenkamp’s father Barry during a process known as victim-offender dialogue – part of South Africa’s restorative justice programme that brings parties affected by a crime together in a bid to achieve closure.

Few details were made public about the meeting and Steenkamp’s father died in 2023.

Her mother June said in a statement before the parole hearing for Pistorius that she was not convinced he had been rehabilitated.
But she added that she had forgiven him “long ago as I knew most certainly that I would not be able to survive if I had to cling to my anger”. – Additional reporting by Reuters