By Kaya 959 Reporter
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is eligible for parole.
Correctional Services officials say the department has been in contact with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents via a Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) programme.
Pistorius has already served eight years of his 15-year jail term for Steenkamp’s murder. She died on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Pistorius claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the bathroom.
The High Court in Pretoria initially convicted Pistorius of culpable homicide. The Supreme Court of Appeal later overturned the conviction.
The court found Pistorius guilty of murder under the principle of Dolus Eventualis. His sentence was increased from six years to 15 years.
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Officials meet with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says officials have already met with Barry and June Steenkamp.
He explains that before an offender is considered for parole, they have to participate in certain programmes. The programmes are aimed at preparing them for a crime-free life beyond incarceration.
“Such programmes must include, amongst others, restorative justice, wherein offenders are able to acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions.
“It is critical for inmates to comprehend the harm they have caused their victims, their communities, and the process has to create an opportunity for parties to reconcile or an apology,” he says.
In line with the VOD, Nxumalo says it was necessary that the Steenkamp family was approached with care as victims must be prepared before they participate in the VOD.
As part of the programme, those taking part are provided with details of the process, their rights and possible outcomes.
“Pistorius is incarcerated in Gauteng and the Steemkamp family residing in another province, DCS has to work out logistical arrangements that will be convenient to the victims of crime.
“This necessitated a deferral as we are finalising the modalities which will ensure that all relevant parties are well prepared, and ready to participate in a conducive environment,” Nxumalo says.