What next for Oscar Pistorius?

What next for Oscar Pistorius?
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What next for Oscar Pistorius?

Former sporting superstar Oscar Pistorius might be the most famous killer in the world.

Oscar Pistorius' Release on Parole

The former Paralympic champion left prison in South Africa on Friday on parole, having served half of his more than 13-year sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013.

Twists and Turns of Pistorius' Trial

The twists and turns of his trial nearly a decade ago captivated the nation - and his release is a massive news event here in South Africa and around the world.

From Hero to Convicted Murderer

The double amputee won six gold medals over three Paralympic Games and made history in 2012 by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in London. But Pistorius is now known as a convicted murderer.

Paralympian and murderer Pistorius freed on parole.

Pistorius' Post-Release Future

His career as an athlete is over. Brands will not want to sponsor him. He will not be sought out as a sports commentator. The 37-year-old, once dubbed "the Blade Runner", is said to look physically very different from the athlete people remember.

Local media have speculated on his future, including that he may become some sort of pastor, which follows his father saying several years ago that Pistorius was taking an active role in the Christian community within prison.

Living Arrangements

It has not been officially confirmed where he will live, although multiple sources said he will stay with his uncle Arnold in one of Pretoria's most exclusive areas, protected behind the property's high walls.

Impact on the Steenkamp Family

The potential Pistorius's release creates for future publicity for him will not be welcomed by the Steenkamp family. "My only desire is that I will be allowed to live my last years in peace with my focus remaining on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, to continue Reeva's legacy," June Steenkamp said.

Pistorius' Media Silence

Pistorius himself will also not be able to answer any media questions on his future. Among the terms of his parole - due to expire in 2029 - is a ban on speaking to the media.

Should he break this, or other conditions which restrict him from consuming alcohol or prohibited drugs, he can be returned to prison.

Parole Conditions

Many of the parole restrictions Pistorius will face over the next five years he shares in common with every other parolee in the country. However, his high profile makes the release unusual.

In recent times, much public debate and commentary have emphasized the need to focus on victims of crime, rather than perpetrators. Usually, when a person is convicted of murder after trial, the killer's account - which might have been very distressing for the victim's family - typically fades from public discourse, with the killer often hidden from sight in prison for decades.

In this case, the killer is world famous and being released while still in his late 30s, after less than eight years in prison.

Views on Pistorius' Culpability

In South Africa, you do hear different views on the case, with people in the same social circles or families expressing vastly differing views on his culpability. Some forget he was convicted of murder on appeal, remembering the original conviction of culpable homicide, a lesser offense equivalent to manslaughter, and people's memories of the evidence have inevitably faded.

Normalization of Leniency

Under South African law, all offenders are entitled to be considered for parole once they have served half their total sentence. But Bulelwa Adonis, of South African campaign group Women for Change, says his early release reveals a "normalization of leniency when it comes to predators, when it comes to anyone who commits any kind of femicide or gender-based violence".

She feels the fact that he was once a national hero still colors some people's perceptions. "I think it is high time we challenge ourselves to actually perceive this person for what they've done," Ms. Adonis says.

Guscott's Perspective

For Ms. Guscott the position is clear. Since her friend Reeva Steenkamp was "brutally murdered" in 2013, she "hasn't had one second to rest in peace correctly".

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