Pistorius completes anger course, ‘ready’ for house arrest

Reeva Steenkamp's family however told parole board 10 months was an inappropriate sentence.

FILE: Oscar Pistorius arriving at the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his sentencing on 15 October 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Correctional Services Department on Monday said it recommended that Oscar Pistorius be released on probation within the next two months because he had completed several courses, including an anger management programme.

But Reeva Steenkamp's family told the parole board, which convened on Friday, that 10 months was an inappropriate sentence for someone who had taken a life.

The 'blade runner' was convicted of culpable homicide last year following the Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend in 2013.

The Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed it would hear the state's appeal against Pistorius's murder acquittal in November.

Pistorius was in September found not guilty of murdering Steenkamp but was instead found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

He was also found guilty of the negligent discharging of a firearm at Tashas restaurant.

The athlete was in October handed a sentence of five years for culpable homicide and three years, wholly suspended, for the Tashas shooting, with the two sentences running concurrently.

Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise said Pistorius had fulfilled the conditions of his sentence.

"It was expected that he wpuld undergo particular programmes and be able to manage his anger well. Seeing that he has done all of these programmes, it has now been recommended that he be released."

But Barry and June Steenkamp's attorney Tania Koen says they're shocked by the department's recommendation.

"Ten months for taking a life is simply not enough."

The state is expected to appeal the athlete's murder acquittal in November.

The following submission was made by the Steenkamp family to the parole board:

"We have forgiven Mr Pistorius, even though he took the life of our precious daughter Reeva. Our lives will never be the same as we live with the sadness of her death every day. Reeva had so much to offer this world and we were all robbed of her life when she was killed. As her family 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. Statistics show that our society is under continuous attack from criminals and murderers. Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough. We fear this will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent that it should."