South Africa

Cleaning the slate: Oscar Pistorius sweeping church floors, parking cars?

Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who ran Bible studies and prayer meetings during the eight years he spent behind bars before his parole release last Friday, is reportedly keen to sweep the floors of the Dutch Reformed Church Waterkloof as part of his parole “penance”.

The 37-year-old double amputee could even be donning a yellow bib and direct cars of the congregation to parking areas “as it gets very busy on Sunday mornings”.

Church service for Oscar Pistorius?

A source told UK publication Mail Online that Pistorius indicated to his parole officers that he would like to help out at the church which is situated a stone’s throw away from the luxury estate of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in the posh Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof.

NG Kerk Waterkloof Oscar Pistorius
The Dutch Reformed Church in Waterkloof where Oscar Pistorius could be serving out his community sentence which forms part of his parole deal. Photo: waterkloofkerk.co.za

Pistorius on parole: Waterkloof ‘Oscar cottage’

The world-renowned athlete, who was convicted for the 2013 Valentine’s Day murder of his 29-year-old model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, was granted parole on 24 November and released into the care of his uncle in the early hours of Friday morning.

Pistorius has swapped his adapted cell in the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre for his very own fortified “Oscar cottage” on his property tycoon uncle’s sprawling estate which boasts a R47 million mega mansion which, coincidentally, is a remodelled rectory of a former Dutch Reformed Church.

His “five-star” cottage on the grounds has panic alarms, a front gatehouse and armed security protecting the rear.

ALSO READ: Oscar Pistorius free – but fears for safety

Oscar Pistorius parole
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will be living in his very own ‘Oscar cottage’ on the grounds of the Waterkloof mansion (left) of his uncle. Arnold Pistorius. Oscar and Reeva Steenkamp (top right); and ‘Blade Runner’ in action at the 2012 London Paralympics. Photos via X @Dreeew71 and AFP/ Getty Images

ALSO READ: Oscar Pistorius walks: Blade Runner’s R47m armed fortress, some ‘Snatch’ and lots of lasagne

Strict parole conditions to keep Blade Runner on track

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has emphasised that the champion Paralympic sprinter’s release does not mean that he has served his sentence.

The disgraced sporting icon is to serve the remainder of his sentence of 13 years and five months under strict parole conditions.

Pistorius’s parole conditions include restrictions on when he’s allowed to leave his home, a ban on consuming alcohol, and orders that he must attend programmes on anger management and on violence against women.

He must also perform community service. Pistorius will also have to regularly meet with parole officials and will be subjected to unannounced visits by authorities.

ALSO READ: Is Oscar Pistorius really rehabilitated?

Other community service options available to Pistorius

Parole officers have yet to sanction his request, with some of the other options open to Pistorius for community service, being:

  • Assist with cleaning at a local hospital;
  • Auxiliary duties at a police station; or even
  • Return to prison to help warders with maintenance.

Pistorius emerges from prison as ‘greying, overweight smoker’

Mail Online reported on his parole release that the former six-time paralympic gold medallist has turned into a “greying, overweight smoker” according to a journalist close to him.

Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre running blades, has reportedly been given a choice as to how he wants to carry out his community service which forms part of his parole deal.

Spiritual leader to jailbirds

It was previously reported in the media that Pistorius turned to God during his time in prison while living with the guilt of gunning down his girlfriend of three months.

His otherwise bare cell, featured a prayer pillow on his cell bed with the words, “Lord, I praise you. I worship you. I thank you” written across it.

He started leading Bible study groups and prayer meetings for fellow inmates in 2018. Rumour has it that the Blade Runner even convinced a feared gang leader to join in.

“They are hardcore chaps, the problem people in the prison, but now they are all meeting to follow the Bible once or twice a week,” his father, Henke Pistorius, shared with The Mirror at the time.

‘My God’s my God of refuge’

During the sensational trial which dominated international headlines in 2014, Pistorius also spoke of his personal Christian faith journey and how he and Steenkamp used to pray together.

“It’s definitely the thing that has got me through this past year,” Pistorius told the court.

“My God’s my God of refuge,” he said.  

He also spoke of Steenkamp’s faith at the time, saying she was “a very strong Christian”.

“She would pray for me at night, praying about everything, pray about my training. We’d pray before we eat.”

Pistorius maintains Steenkamp’s shooting death was a ‘mistake’

oscar pistorius parole church
From left: Oscar Pistorius on the fateful morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 at his home after Reeva Steenkamp was fatally shot. A file photo of the couple at the Feather Awards at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg; and the bloody crime scene of the bathroom and toilet cubicle. Photos: AFP and South African Police Services (Saps)

Throughout the gruelling six-month trial, Pistorius maintained that he had mistaken his model and law graduate girlfriend for an intruder.

He was initially convicted of culpable homicide for shooting Steenkamp four times with his licensed 9mm Parabellum pistol through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home in the luxury Silver Woods Country Estate.

The former FHM and Maxim magazine pin-up reportedly died instantly.

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