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from ‘Blade Runner’ hero to convicted murder

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs, was released on parole, nearly 11 years after murdering his girlfriend.

He went from public hero as a Paralympic champion to a convicted killer in hearings that drew worldwide attention nearly a decade ago.

22 November 1986 – Oscar Pistorius is born in Johannesburg. Born without fibulas, he has both legs amputated below the knees before turning one year old.

2003 – Pistorius starts sprint training in secondary school after learning to walk on prosthetic legs.

2004 – Running on carbon-fibre prosthetics, Pistorius becomes a Paralympic gold medallist when he wins the 200 metres in Athens.

2008 – Pistorius wins three golds at the Paralympics in Beijing.

2012 – Hailed as a turning point for disabled athletes, Pistorius becomes the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics, where he reaches the 400 metres semi-finals in London.

He wins two gold medals at the Paralympics.

14 February 2013 – Pistorius kills then-girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, when he fires four shots through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day.

15 February – Pistorius is charged with murder in a Pretoria court.

12 September 2014 – A high court judge convicts Pistorius of culpable homicide, letting him off the more serious charge of murder.

21 October – Pistorius starts his five-year jail sentence.

13 March 2015 – A high court judge strikes down Pistorius’ bid to block prosecutors from appealing the culpable homicide verdict in favour of a murder conviction.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed on 14 February 2013

19 August – South Africa’s justice minister blocks Pistorius’ expected release on parole after serving ten months of his five-year sentence.

19 October – Pistorius is released to house arrest to serve the rest of his sentence at his uncle’s home in a wealthy suburb of Pretoria.

3 December – The Supreme Court of Appeal overturns the lower judge’s ruling and finds Pistorius guilty of murder, arguing he should have foreseen the possibility of killing someone when he fired the shots.

6 July 2016 – Pistorius is sent back to jail for six years, less than half the 15-year minimum term sought by prosecutors.

Oscar Pistorius holds the hand of a relative as he leaves Pretoria High Court on 6 July, 2016

24 November 2017 – The Supreme Court more than doubles Pistorius’ murder sentence to 13 years and five months, accepting state prosecutors’ argument that the original jail term was “shockingly lenient”.

22 June 2022 – Pistorius meets Reeva Steenkamp’s father as part of a victim-offender dialogue – an integral part of South Africa’s restorative justice programme that brings parties affected by a crime together in a bid to achieve closure.

31 March 2023 – Pistorius is denied parole after prison authorities say he has not served minimum detention period required.

The Department of Correctional Services says Pistorius i sexpected to have completed his minimum detention period in August 2024 and will become eligible to be considered for parole.

October – The Constitutional Court said Pistorius had served half of his sentence by 21 March this year, making him eligible for parole, after his sentence was backdated to July 2016 instead of November 2017.

24 November – The Department of Correctional Services said that Pistorius would be released on parole effective from 5 January, 2024, after a hearing in Pretoria.

5 January 2024 – Pistorius is released on parole.


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