Oscar Pistorius eligible for release on parole after serving half his sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
After serving half of his sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius is apparently eligible for parole.
Since July, the South African Paralympic gold medalist has been eligible for parole after serving 13 years and five months in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
Before being eligible for release, Pistorius is likely to meet Reeva’s parents as part of South Africa’s’restorative justice’ parole procedure.
He was found guilty of manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp four times through the door of his bedroom toilet on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
He said he mistook Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, for an intruder, but he was found guilty of manslaughter and given a five-year sentence.
After being found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015, his sentence was doubled to 13 years and five months. After serving six years in a low-security prison in Pretoria, Pistorius may finally be eligible for parole.
In a statement, the South African Department of Correctional Services said it was arranging a meeting between Steenkamp’s parents and Pistorius as part of the’restorative justice’ process.
Offenders must ‘acknowledge and take responsibility for their conduct,’ according to the statement, and both parties must have the opportunity to’reconcile or apologize.’
Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, said the department was ‘not quite there’ on Pistorius’ prospective parole.
“They [inmates] have to appear before a parole board. A determination is then made about whether they are ready to be sent back into the community or continue to stay in prison serving the remainder of their sentence.’
A lawyer for Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry, told national broadcaster SABC they ‘would like to participate in the victim-offender dialogue’.
‘June has always said that she has forgiven Oscar, however that doesn’t mean that he mustn’t pay for what he has done.
“Barry battles with that a bit, but that is something he will have to voice at the appropriate time,” lawyer Tania Koen said.