Oscar Pistorius set to meet murdered Reeva Steenkamp’s parents as he bids for parole after just half his sentence
FORMER sprinter Oscar Pistorius is set to meet murdered Reeva Steenkamp’s parents as he bids for parole after serving half his sentence.
Paralympian Pistorius, was jailed for 15 years for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp,in their bathroom in Pretoria, South Africa, on Valentine’s Day 2013.
The ex-athlete had always maintained that he shot four times through the closed door of the toilet, thinking she was a possible intruder.
In October 2014 he was jailed for five years after being found guilty of manslaughter.
That conviction was overturned and replaced with a murder conviction by the Supreme Court in 2015.
In November 2017, Pistorius had his jail sentence increased from six years to 13 years and five months.
He now he may be released on parole after serving six years.
Pistorius had previously pleaded for the forgiveness of the Steenkamp family and said: “I want to tell them I’m sorry.”
South Africa's department of correctional services said in a statement they were talking about setting up a meeting between the Steenkamp family and Pistorius, as part of his "restorative justice" process.
The statement also says that offenders must "acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions" and that part of the restorative justice process is "an opportunity for parties to reconcile or an apology".
Tania Koen, a lawyer for Steenkamps' parents June and Barry, told SABC that they "would like to participate in the victim-offender dialogue".
"The wound, even though so much time has passed, is still very raw.
"June has always said that she has forgiven Oscar, however that doesn't mean that he mustn't pay for what he has done…
"Barry battles with that a bit, but that is something he will have to voice at the appropriate time," Ms Koen added.
She added that "being eligible for parole is not the same as being entitled to it."
Back in 2018, Reeva’s mum, said she had forgiven Pistorius but still wanted him punished.
Meanwhile, her sister Simone had said at the time: “Hating him will not bring our Reeva back.”
It was believed that the former athlete, who is serving time at Atteridgeville Correctional Centre would not be eligible for parole until March 2023, but the Steenkamps were "very shocked and quite taken aback" that he was already eligible, according to Ms Koen.
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