Lifestyle

Oscar Pistorius begins new life as he performs janitorial duties at local church

The stark contrast between winning Paralympic gold and performing janitorial duties at a suburban church presents a distressing narrative for a professional athlete. In the aftermath of Oscar Pistorius’ infamous murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, it’s difficult to imagine him reclaiming any semblance of his former life.

Once celebrated globally for his achievements on the track, Pistorius, now 37, has faded from the public eye, a stark departure from his days of nightclub appearances and media acclaim, as reported by Daily Mail.

Pistorius was released on parole in January from Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria, serving only half of his 2016 sentence. Now volunteering at NG Kerk Waterkloof, a Dutch Reformed Church near his new residence, those who encounter him perceive him as more of a ghost than a human.

“He’s not friendly, not outgoing,” one parishioner told the New York Post on Wednesday. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him crack a smile. He’s just a shadow of what he once was.”

In 2024, Pistorius dedicated himself to work at the church, which is registered as his place of employment, according to his parole documentation. His responsibilities include light maintenance and janitorial tasks, alongside attending services.

When news of his release broke earlier this year, reports suggested that his duties may also involve sweeping floors and assisting with parking cars during Sunday services.

Since his initial trial in 2014, where Pistorius was initially convicted of culpable homicide before it was later overturned to murder for shooting and killing Steenkamp, he has relied heavily on his faith.

Throughout court proceedings, he frequently carried a rosary and was photographed reading “Breakthrough Prayer: The Power of Connecting with the Heart of God” by Jim Cymbal during breaks.

During his testimony, he spoke of praying with Steenkamp before meals and her involvement in his training prayers. While in prison, he initiated a Bible study group and led prayer sessions. Reports surrounding his release suggested he was considering a transition into preaching.

The significance of NG Kerk Waterkloof in Pistorius’s life goes beyond mere volunteer work. His uncle, Arnold Pistorius, a prominent figure in his life, regularly attends the church. Arnold has assumed a quasi-paternal role for Pistorius since the passing of his mother, Sheila, when Pistorius was 15, taking on responsibility for him and his siblings, Aimee and Carl.

Following his release on bail before his conviction, Pistorius initially resided at his uncle Arnold’s lavish Waterkloof residence and exhibited early signs of paranoia and seclusion. These traits have become defining features of his post-prison life in his uncle’s residence. Concerns about potential threats, once centered on avoiding windows to evade imagined assassins, have intensified since his conviction.

Police in Johannesburg reportedly received information suggesting that local gangs seek revenge, leading to assertions that Pistorius will perpetually feel the need to watch his back due to the repugnant nature of his crime.

Stephen Nartey

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