FILE PHOTO: Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police officers as he arrives for sentencing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa May 6 July 2016. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko / File Photo
December 2, 2021
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Former South African paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius, jailed in 2016 for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has been moved closer to his family ahead of reconciliation talks that could help open way for him to be released from prison early.
Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” for his carbon fiber prosthetic legs, went from hero of the masses to convicted murderer in a trial that drew worldwide attention. He is eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year prison sentence.
Pistorius is set to speak to Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, in a process known as victim-inmate dialogue – an integral part of the restorative justice program of South Africa in its prison system, bringing together the parties affected by a particular crime to achieve closure.
“They are involved in this process because they are committed to being part of the victim-victim dialogue. They feel they have to do this for Reeva,” said Tania Koen, Steenkamps’ attorney, of the family.
Pistorius’ attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Gold medalist Pistorius, once a darling of the Paralympic movement for promoting greater recognition and acceptance of athletes with disabilities, shot dead Steenkamp, a model and law student, in his bathroom in 2013.
Pistorius said he believed she was an intruder but was jailed in 2016, initially with a term of six years. After an appeal by prosecutors, who found this to be too lenient, the term was increased to 13 years.
He has now been transferred from a prison near Johannesburg to a prison on the east coast of South Africa, near where Steenkamp’s parents live.
Neither their attorney Koen nor Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesman for the department of correctional services, could provide Reuters with a schedule for the discussions.
“It’s a very sensitive, highly emotional process… and we don’t force people into it,” Nxumalo said.
“But we are saying that it at least lays the groundwork where people can, if possible, forgive each other, find each other and then try to move forward in harmony,” he said.
(Reporting by Wendell Roelf and Siyabonga Sishi; edited by Gareth Jones)
https://www.oann.com/jailed-former-paralympic-athlete-pistorius-moved-closer-to-victims-family/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jailed-former-paralympic-athlete-pistorius-moved-closer-to-victims-family Former paralympic athlete Pistorius jailed has moved closer to the victim’s family