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Pistorius to be released from prison August 21

Published:Tuesday | June 9, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Ap file
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JOHANNESBURG (AP):

Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison for good behaviour on August 21 and go under house arrest after serving just 10 months for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, South Africa's department of corrections said yesterday.

"He's behaving himself very well," acting national commissioner of correctional services, Zach Modise, told The Associated Press. "He hasn't given us any problems."

Yet three months after he leaves Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria, likely for the comfort of his uncle's mansion, the double-amputee Olympic athlete will again face the possibility of a murder conviction and could be sent back to jail - this time for a minimum of 15 years.

Pistorius was acquitted of murder and found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, last year for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors will again seek a murder conviction at the Supreme Court of Appeal in November, the court announced, also yesterday.

Pistorius' impending release after serving one-sixth of his five-year jail term for manslaughter is in line with South African law, but it was sharply criticised by family members of Steenkamp, the 29-year-old model and reality TV star shot multiple times by Pistorius in the pre-dawn hours of February 14, 2013.

"Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough," Steenkamp's family said in a written statement to the parole board that met Friday and approved Pistorius' release under correctional supervision, or house arrest.

Steenkamp's family members were invited to attend Pistorius' parole hearing but did not. Instead, they sent the written submission, Steenkamp family lawyer Tania Koen said.

"We have forgiven Mr Pistorius even though he took the life of our precious daughter, Reeva," the family wrote in its submission. "We do not seek to avenge her death and we do not want Mr Pistorius to suffer - that will not bring her back to us - however, a person found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for their actions."