'Still very raw': Crucial detail in Oscar Pistorius parole saga

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·Sports Reporter
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Oscar Pistorius has been moved to a different South African prison as he prepares for his parole eligibility halfway through his 13-year sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP / Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius has been moved to a different South African prison as he prepares for his parole eligibility halfway through his 13-year sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP / Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp have been confronted with the possibility of a face to face meeting with Oscar Pistorius, who was convicted of her murder in 2014.

Steenkamp was living with Pistorius when he claimed to have mistaken her for an intruder in the early hours of the morning in February 2013, firing a gun four times through the locked door of their bedroom toilet, killing her.

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Pistorius was found guilty of manslaughter in 2014 and sentenced to six years, but the conviction was later upgraded to murder, with a 13-year term.

Having now served just over half of that 13-year sentence, Pistorius is eligible to be considered for parole.

News that Pistorius could be eligible for release broke earlier in November, leaving Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, reportedly shocked.

Despite the news, the Steenkamp family lawyer says the couple are willing to participate in the process of 'restorative justice' described by South African authorities.

Lawyer Tanya Koen said earlier this month that they were willing to take part in 'victim-offender dialogue', but made it clear the couple still had serious reservations about Pistorius' explanation for his actions.

"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," Ms Koen said.

"The wound, even though so much time has passed, is still very raw."    

Pistorius has already been transferred from a prison in the South African capital of Pretoria to a different prison in Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth.

This was to be closer to Steenkamp's parents in an effort to make the subsequent process easier, however preliminary meetings have been postponed and remain yet to be rescheduled.

Reeva Steenkamp's parents say Pistorius has shown 'no remorse'

However, Steenkamp's parents June and Barry have made it abundantly clear they don't want the man known as the 'Blade Runner' to be granted an early release from prison.

“He’s shown no remorse and he would only show remorse I think if it contributes to his getting out of jail,” June said in an interview with English breakfast TV show, Good Morning Britain.

“We haven’t had the full story. I don’t believe that it’s the truth, he changed his mind three times under oath to a different story and we don’t believe that’s the truth of the story.

“That’s what we want, the truth. This has been a horror story for us.

"He must serve whatever his full time, in my eyes, he still must pay for what he’s done. And that’s what we’re expecting.

“Sorry is not enough in any case. It’s not enough for losing her life, her future was ahead of her. Now she has no wedding, we have no grandchildren and she never would have her wedding dress.

June and Barry Steenkamp say they are open to 'victim-offender dialogue', but remain unconvinced by Oscar Pistorius' explanation for the murder of their daughter. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP / Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
June and Barry Steenkamp say they are open to 'victim-offender dialogue', but remain unconvinced by Oscar Pistorius' explanation for the murder of their daughter. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP / Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“She had nothing. He took everything away from her and us and that is something that is important to me, the things that she would never have had.

“I forgave him through God because I believe in God. I’m a Christian and I had to. God was asked to forgive him, but it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got to pay for what he’s done. He showed no remorse, and we don’t believe the story.

“We don’t believe the story that he gave. We don’t know how it came to that. We want the truth.”

The Steenkamp's lawyer Tania Koen said the parole board had been due to discuss his parole on October 27 or 29.

"But because certain requirements were not met, they have stopped the process and they will have to make sure they have the necessary reports," including talks with the victim's family, the offender and supply of psychologist and social worker reports, she said.

"He has been eligible for parole since July of this year," Koen added, "but that does not mean he has automatic right to be released on parole."

With agencies

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