Oscar Pistorius, the convicted ex-Paralympic athlete, has been moved to a new prison ahead of a meeting with the parents of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he murdered in 2013.
The meeting is part of a process that could lead to the 35-year-old’s eventual release on parole. The South African has been moved closer to the Steenkamps’ home.
After serving half of his 13-year and 5-month sentence, Pistorius may be eligible for parole. But he must first take part in restorative justice, as described by the South African authorities.
Offenders are required to speak with their victims or relatives as part of this process. They must also accept responsibility for the harm they have caused, according to the Department of Correctional Services.
In 2013, Pistorius fatally shot Ms Steenkamp at his Pretoria home, claiming he mistook her for a burglar.
He was shot four times through a lavatory door that was locked. He was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter in 2014, after a trial that was broadcast around the world. On appeal in 2015, Pistorius was convicted of murder, and his sentence was later enhanced to 13 years and five months.
The Steenkamps’ lawyer, Tania Koen, told national broadcaster SABC earlier this month that they “would like to participate in the victim-offender discourse” if Pistorius were released.
The Steenkamps had also received a letter from Pistorius, which the lawyer characterised as emotionally devastating for them, according to the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper.
The authorities have not specified a date for the meeting, only stating that the timetable will be governed by the level of preparedness of all parties.
People were told not to put pressure on those who were participating to expose what was said, according to the Department of Correctional Services.
Before his killing, Pistorius had won a gold medal at the Paralympics. In 2012, he made history as the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics while using prosthetic blades. His legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old since he was born without fibula bones.