Oscar Pistorius is preparing to meet the parents of the victim, Riva Steenkamp
Imprisoned former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been moved to a different prison before meeting the parents of Reva Steenkamp, his girlfriend he murdered in 2013.
The meeting is part of a process that could eventually lead to the 35-year-old’s conditional release.
South Africa has been moved closer to where the Stenkamps live.
Pistorius may be released after serving half his sentence of 13 years and five months.
But first he must participate in what the South African authorities describe as “restorative justice”.
As part of this, perpetrators are expected to speak to their victims or relatives. The Department of Correctional Services said they must also acknowledge the damage they caused.
He was moved from a prison in the capital, Pretoria, to a prison in the coastal city of Jakiberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.
Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp dead in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar at his home in Pretoria.
Shot four times through a locked toilet door.
In 2014, at the conclusion of a trial that was followed around the world, he was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter. But Pistorius was convicted of murder on appeal in 2015 and the sentence was later raised to 13 years and five months.
When the possibility of Pistorius’ release first surfaced earlier this month, Steenkamp’s attorney, Tanya Quinn, told SABC national broadcaster that they “would like to participate in the dialogue between the victim and the perpetrator.”
“June [Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother] She always said that she forgave Oscar, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pay for what he did… Barry [Steenkamp, Reeva’s father] You fight with that a little bit, but that is something he will have to express in time.”
“The wound, although a lot of time has passed, is still very sharp.”
The lawyer also told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper that the Steenkamp family had received a letter from Pistorius which she described as “emotionally distressing” for them.
The authorities did not say when the meeting would take place, saying only that “the time frame … will be guided by the level of preparedness of all participants.”
The Department of Corrections asked people not to pressure participants to reveal what was said.
Prior to the murder, Pistorius was known as a gold medalist in the Paralympic Games. In 2012, he made history by being the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games to be held on artificial “blades”.
His legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old because he was born without a fibula bone.
The Rise and Fall of Oscar Pistorius
August 2012: He competed in the London Olympics and Paralympics, winning a gold medal
February 2013: He shot his girlfriend Riva Steenkamp
March 2014: Trial begins
September 2014: Judge Pistorius finds guilty of premeditated murder
October 2014: Five years imprisonment begins
October 2015: Transfer to house arrest
December 2015: Appeals court changes verdict to murder
July 2016: He was sentenced to six years in prison for premeditated murder
November 2017: The sentence was doubled to 13 years and five months
The Trial of Oscar Pistorius: 10 Key Moments