Oscar Pistorius to Meet Victim Reeva Steenkamp's Parents for 1st Time Ahead of Parole Hearing
The disgraced Olympian and the model had only been dating a few months at the time of her death.
Disgraced South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius is set to meet the parents of model Reeva Steenkamp, the BBC reported.
The meeting will be the first time both parties have formally met and comes before Pistorius’ parole hearing, the BBC reported.
Pistorius, who was convicted in then-girlfriend Steenkamp’s Valentine's Day 2013 death, has been transferred to Gqeberha, formerly known as South Africa’s notorious Port Elizabeth prison, in the Eastern Cape, the Evening Standard reported.
The prison is close to Steenkamp’s parents, Barry, 78, and June, 74, and the move is part of the parole allows for a "victim-offender" dialogue, the Evening Standard reported.
South Africa Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement obtained by ESPN that "The transfer is necessitated by the need to commence with the processes of a victim-offender dialogue as the victims are based in Gqeberha. Offenders participate in the victim-offender dialogue as part of their rehabilitation path, wherein they are able to acknowledge the harm they have caused to their victims and the society at large."
Nxumalo added that the process could not be rushed, and that there was no timeframe for the meeting.
"Victim-offender dialogues are sensitive, emotional and inconsolable; hence they are presided [over] by highly trained officials who ought to ensure that all parties derive value from the process," he said. "DCS is unable to pre-empt the time frame, as this will be guided by the level of preparedness by all participants."
Pistorius has served half of his 15-year sentence for the killing of Steenkamp at their home eight years ago, ESPN reported.
When the disgraced athlete was eligible for parole earlier this month, the Steenkamp family attorney told SABC that they would be willing to meet with Pistorius.
The family attorney told SABC they “would like to participate in the victim-offender dialogue.”
"June has always said that she has forgiven Oscar, however that doesn't mean that he mustn't pay for what he has done,” the attorney said. “Barry battles with that a bit, but that is something he will have to voice at the appropriate time.”
Pistorius and Steenkamp were dating at the time of her death. He shot Steenkamp to death after firing four shots through a locked bathroom door, saying he mistook her for a burglar at his Pretoria home.
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