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Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp – the woman he killed in 2013 – as part of his parole process.
Steenkamp’s family lawyer Tania Koen said that the former South African sprinter, who is currently serving a 13-year-and-five-month sentence for the murder of his former partner Reeva, met with Barry Steenkamp last month as part of a ‘victim-offender dialogue’.
The meetings are designed to allow victims of crimes, or their relatives, to meet with offenders before they are eligible for parole.
Koen confirmed the meeting had gone ahead, but declined to give any more details.
She wrote in her message: “The dialogue is a private and confidential matter, hence we ask that our clients’ privacy be respected.”
Pistorius, 35, was convicted of murder in 2015 following a long and highly-publicised trial and numerous appeals.
Reeva, 29, was shot dead by Pistorius, with the Paralympian claiming he thought he was shooting an intruder.
In South Africa, those convicted of a serious crime must serve at least half their sentence before they become eligible for parole.
A parole hearing had been scheduled for last year, but was cancelled as Pistorius had not yet met up with Steenkamp’s parents.
He has served most of his sentence at a prison in Pretoria but was moved to a facility in Gqeberha, where the Steenkamps live, ahead of the meeting with Barry Steenkamp.
Last year, the Steenkamps released a heartfelt statement after Pistorius had written them a letter after he became eligible for parole.
Barry said he and his wife were ‘dumbfounded' by the letter.
He went on: “I think the letter was sent to us to do with the parole that is coming up and yes, it's only June and I and our lawyer that has seen what has been written in it and we've kept quiet and we don't want to push it out to anyone as to what was said. We might let people know at a later stage but not now, what was written by Oscar.”
Barry said that ‘one day’ he would like to talk to Pistorius ‘man to man’.
“I'd like to talk to him, June and myself we feel there are still a lot of things to come out of this story and we're hoping that Oscar will tell us the truth,” he continued. “And that's the reason why I'm the one who would like to speak to Oscar.
“I would like to have a chat to him one day and we'll see how it goes from there.”
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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