20 Oct 2015

Oscar Pistorius under house arrest after prison release

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is released under house arrest one year into a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Paralympic gold medallist was convicted of culpable homicide in October last year. He shot Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013, but said he thought she was an intruder.

Pistorius will spend the rest of his sentence at his uncle’s home in the wealthy suburb of South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

“The family is happy that Oscar is home, but they want to make the point that his sentence continues,” said family spokesperson Anneliese Burgess.

“Oscar will adhere strictly to the conditions of his parole,” she said.

An appeal against the decision to charge Pistorius with culpable homicide rather than murder is due to be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 3 November.

A murder conviction would result in a minimum of 15 years in prison.

While the Pistorius case shocked the world, violence against women in South Africa is commonplace. The country has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime against women.

In 2009, 1,024 women were killed by an intimate partner in South Africa. The South African Medical Research Council found the proportion of female murders due to domestic violence had increased in the past ten years.