June Steenkamp's thoughts on Oscar Pistorius parole and Christopher Panayiotou

MAY 20, 2015

June Steenkamp, the mother of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, told a local radio show that it was too soon to release the Pistorius from prison. The disgraced Paralympian could be set free as early as August for good conduct, according to reports.

Pistorius was found guilty last year of culpable homicide and was sentenced to five years in prison for fatally shooting Reeva on Valentine's Day 2013.

“The women in this country are now suffering with abuse and murder for someone to come out just after ten months is just not enough … somebody is dead, you know, she is gone. [Parole] after just ten months is not enough it’s sending the wrong message for others to carry on,” June said.

She said chaos was now reigning in the previously small and relatively peaceful city of Port Elizabeth – coincidentally often referred to as the Friendly City.

“We also have got the case of [Anni] Dewani – and others similar to that case, it is almost like you can just kill someone and get away with it. Dewani walked… so what are we saying now when we say you can go to jail for five years but walk out on parole after ten months – that is just sending the wrong message out to people.”

June said the decision to release Oscar is a real possibility but the Parole Board will first contact her and her husband, Barry, to find out how they would feel if he was released into the community.

“… we steal have an appeal on his conviction that is still pending.”

June also drew parallels to the Jayde Panayiotou murder case that has gripped Port Elizabeth and South Africa over the past month.

“He suggested that if Oscar could get bail the he was also entitled to bail and that the murder [of Jayde] was not as serious as the other. Killing is killing somebody is dead.  

“This is now how people feel. Honestly, this is the message that they have gotten now  that you can kill somebody and get away with it. That is really bad,” June said.

“In this town, Port Elizabeth, things are really bad. Every day, there is a murder.”

She said they will oppose any attempts to release Oscar before his five years – although she was not sure about how much weight their opinions carried in swaying the Parole Board’s decision.

“We all need to now get involved in this [fighting crime] otherwise, we cannot even go out to walk our dogs because we are not safe anymore. And partners killing their partners, it’s just chaos now – it’s out of control.” 

Image: Independent UK.

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