Jailed killer Oscar Pistorius is set to meet his victim Reeva Steenkamp’s father in new bid for freedom after disgraced Paralympian shot his girlfriend dead in 2013
- The former sprinter shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day in 2013
- He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months
- But he became eligible for parole last year having served half his sentence
- Now he must face Reeva’s parents as part of South Africa’s ‘restorative justice’
Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is set to meet the father of his former girlfriend, whom he shot dead nine years ago, in an attempt to secure an early release from prison.
Pistorius, a world-famous double-amputee athlete who competed at the 2012 Olympics, was jailed for shooting model Reeva Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet door in his home on Valentine’s Day 2013.
The former sprinter, 35, insisted he mistook his girlfriend for a burglar, but was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison after being convicted of murder.
He became eligible for parole late last year under South African law after serving half his sentence.
Now, Pistorius will enter into a series of talks with Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, as part of a process which could lead to the killer being granted an early release.
Pistorius (right), a world-famous double-amputee athlete who competed at the 2012 Olympics, has been eligible for parole since July after he was jailed for shooting model Reva Steenkamp (left) multiple times through a toilet door in his home on Valentine’s Day 2013
Pistorius will enter into a series of talks with Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp (pictured), as part of a process which could lead to the killer being granted an early release.
Barry is said to be preparing for a face-to-face meeting with his daughter’s killer as part of South Africa’s victim-offender dialogue policy.
The meetings are aimed at achieving some kind of closure for families of victims of crimes, and would allow Barry to challenge Pistorius on why he shot his daughter.
But Pistorius could also have a significant amount of time knocked off his sentence if Barry is satisfied with the outcome of the talks and believes his daughter’s killer has truly repented.
The former Paralympian was also due to meet Reeva’s mother, June, but the family’s lawyer said June is not ready to confront the killer, despite previously saying she had forgiven him.
‘They (Barry and June) feel that Reeva has got a voice. They are Reeva’s voice, and they owe it to their beloved daughter,’ said Tania Koen, the Steenkamps’ lawyer.
The Steenkamps will be allowed to make recommendations to the parole board, although Koen wouldn’t say if they will oppose Pistorius’ release.
‘We have discussed it,’ Koen said, but declined to give details.
Last year, the Steenkamps spoke of their anguish when Pistorius penned a letter to them after he became eligible for parole.
‘June and myself, we were dumbfounded,’ Barry said at the time.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the Feather Awards on November 4, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents June Steenkamp and Barry Steenkamp react after Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murdering their daughter in a South African court
‘I think the letter was sent to us to do with the parole that is coming up and yes, it’s only June and I and our lawyer that has seen what has been written in it and we’ve kept quiet and we don’t want to push it out to anyone as to what was said. We might let people know at a later stage but not now, what was written by Oscar.’
The grieving father added: ‘One day I would like to talk to Oscar, man to man.
‘I’d like to talk to him, June and myself we feel there are still a lot of things to come out of this story and we’re hoping that Oscar will tell us the truth, and that’s the reason why I’m the one who would like to speak to Oscar.
‘I would like to have a chat to him one day and we’ll see how it goes from there.’