At almost a year to the day since the Blade Runner was locked up in his Pretoria cell, the world watches as convicted killer Oscar Pistorius is released from prison and free to finish his sentence from the comfort of home.
Oscar Pistorious was the golden boy of the athletics world and an inspiration to millions around the globe, until the night of Valentine’s Day, 2013 provided for a twist of fate in the life of the South African superstar.
What followed that fateful night will be remembered forever by our generation, but as we await his imminent release, the question must be asked, what’s next for the once worshiped Olympian?
In accordance with the law in South Africa, individuals who are convicted and sentenced for anything up to five years are automatically eligible to be considered for parole after they serve one sixth of their sentence in prison. In Pistorius’ case, this meant that after ten months he was considered for parole. The Department of Correctional Services have subsequently confirmed that after consideration, Pistorius will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, and remain under correctional supervision from October 20th, 2015 until October 20th, 2019. It is likely that Pistorius will serve the rest of his sentence at his uncle’s home in Pretoria.
Technically, Pistorius will be under house arrest until his sentence is served. However, the following shows a possible return to athletics could be on the cards – sooner rather than later.
With reference to South Africa’s Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, “correctional supervision aims to provide a means of rehabilitation within the community and allows – even encourages – the offender to be employed.” In addition, the International Paralympic Committee has said Pistorius, “could resume his career once he has served his sentence”. Finally, the South African Olympic Committee has confirmed that it has no regulations which bar convicted athletes, like Pistorius, from resuming their careers once they leave prison.
Provided Pistorius has the intentions of returning to the athletic scene, the above information would suggest that his career could be back on track in the near future. The developments which follow his release are sure to be closely monitored by all, and will pose questions of morality and justice along the way.
The coming days and weeks should tell more and give us all a clearer picture of what the future holds for the world’s fastest Paralympian. Pistorius’ release from prison begins with a meeting between himself and Reeva Steenkamp’s parents. From there we can expect much public debate and scrutiny as we lie in wait to see whether or not Pistorius will lace up his spikes again.