Oscar Pistorius set to meet victim Reeva Steenkamp’s parents

Oscar Pistorius set to meet victim Reeva Steenkamp’s parents
The South African former Paralympian is eligible for parole having served half his sentence

Oscar Pistorious, the ex-Paralympic athlete who murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, is set to meet the late model‘s parents as part of a process that could lead to his eventual release from prison.

The 35-year-old is being moved to a different prison some 750 miles away from capital Pretoria, where he is currently incarcerated, and closer to Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, 75, and wife June, 74, so he can talk to them.

The meeting, where Mr and Mrs Steenkamp will get to ask Pistorious why he shot their daughter on Valentine’s Day in 2013, is described as part of the “restorative justice” process in South Africa.

Reports say the meeting was organised after Pistorious wrote to the Steenkamps in October, which is thought to be his first contact with the family since his 2014 trial, which made headlines around the world.

Pistorious was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter butwas found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015 and the sentence was later increased to 13 years and five months. He is up for possible release after having served half his sentence.

Offenders participating in the restorative justice process are required to speak to their victims or families and acknowledge the harm they have caused.

The Steenkamps have previously said they would like to participate in the process.

“June has always said that she has forgiven Oscar, however that doesn’t mean that he must not pay for what he has done…” the couple’s lawyer, Tania Koen, told South African national broadcaster earlier this year.

“Barry battles with that a bit, but that is something he will have to voice at the appropriate time,” Ms Koen added.

“The wound, even though so much time has passed, is still very raw.

Ms Koen also told the Daily Mirror newspaper that the couple had received a letter from Pistorious which she described as being “emotionally distressing for them”.

South African authorities said the “the timeframe [of the meeting] will be guided by the level of preparedness by all participants” and no date has yet been set.

Pistorious, a double-amputee gold medalist who competed at the 2012 Olympics, shot Ms Steenkamp through a locked toilet door at his home in 2013.

He claimed at the trial that it was a “tragic accident” where he mistook Steenkamp for a dangerous intruder.

Under South African law, the former athlete is eligible for parole after having served half of his sentence.