Oscar Pistorius to meet parents of victim Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius’ trial and subsequent hearings generated enormous media interest

Jailed former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was transferred to another prison ahead of a meeting with the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, ​​his girlfriend he murdered in 2013.

The encounter is part of a process that could lead to the 35-year-old’s parole.

The South African was transferred closer to where the Steenkamps live.

Pistorius is ready for release after serving half of his 13 year and five month sentence.

But he must first participate in what the South African authorities qualify as “restorative justice”.

Within this framework, offenders are expected to speak to their victims or relatives. They must also recognize the harm they have caused, the Corrections Department said.

He was transferred from a prison in the capital, Pretoria, to another in the port city of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.

Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp in 2013 saying he mistook her for a burglar in his Pretoria home.

He fired four times through a locked toilet door.

In 2014, after a trial followed around the world, he received a five-year sentence for manslaughter. But Pistorius was convicted of murder on appeal in 2015 and the sentence was later increased to 13 years and five months.

When the possibility of Pistorius’ release first arose earlier this month, Steenkamp’s lawyer, Tania Koen, told national broadcaster SABC that they “would like to participate in the victim-offender dialogue”.

“June [Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother] always said she forgave Oscar, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pay for what he did … Barry [Steenkamp, Reeva’s father] struggles with that a bit, but it’s something he’ll have to voice when the time is right, ”Ms. Koen added.

“The injury, even though so much time has passed, is still very severe.”

The lawyer also told the British Daily Mirror that the Steenkamps had received a letter from Pistorius which she described as “emotionally distressing” to them.

Authorities did not say when the meeting would take place, saying simply that “the timing … will be guided by the level of preparedness of all participants.”

Reeva Steenkamp.  Photo file

Oscar Pistorius gunned down Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013

The Corrections Department asked people not to pressure participants to reveal what was said.

Before the murder, Pistorius was well known as a Paralympic gold medalist. In 2012, he made history when he became the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics running on prosthetic “blades”.

His legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old because he was born without a fibula.

Rise and fall of Oscar Pistorius

  • August 2012 : Competed in the London Olympics and Paralympics, where he won a gold medal

  • February 2013: Kills his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

  • March 2014: The trial begins

  • September 2014: Judge finds Pistorius guilty of manslaughter

  • October 2014: Starts a five-year sentence

  • October 2015: Transferred to house arrest

  • December 2015: Court of Appeal changes verdict to murder

  • July 2016: Sentenced to six years in prison for murder

  • November 2017: Penalty more than doubled at 13 years and five months

Oscar Pistorius trial: 10 key moments

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