Oscar Pistorius wrote what has been described as a ‘distressing’ letter to the parents of Reeva Steenkamp in a bid to be granted parole.
South African gold medallist Pistorius became eligible for parole in July after serving half of the 13-year prison sentence he received for killing Steenkamp, who was his girlfriend at the time.
The 29-year-old model was shot dead by Pistorius in 2013, after which the Paralympian claimed he thought he was shooting an intruder.
As part of the process to be granted parole in South Africa, prisoners must ‘acknowledge and take responsibility’ for their actions, which prompted Pistorius to write his letter to Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry.
Their lawyer, Tania Koen, told The Mirror she received the letter from Pistorius’ attorney and that June and Barry ‘did not know it was coming’. She added: ‘It was quite emotionally distressing for them.’
Koen is not able to divulge the contents of the letter, but noted it came after the distress the parents felt upon learning Pistorius was eligible for parole when they had previously been told he would not be released until after March 2023.
The lawyer described the ‘disregard for their emotional wellbeing’ as ‘upsetting’, noting they ‘had to find out the parole board had already convened a date for parole and never advised them about it.’
She also claimed ‘the proper procedure was not followed’ regarding Pistorius’ parole.
June and Barry have been asked by the prison service to meet Pistorius before his release for ‘victim-offender dialogue’, and though it is not compulsory for them to do so, the parents are willing to see him.
Yes, they want to do that face to face.
Barry has said for years he wants to meet Oscar and he has questions to ask. They are not emotionally prepared, but are prepared to meet Oscar. They accept the day will come when Oscar will be eligible for parole and they would give their input.
Pistorius made history in 2012 when he became the first athlete to compete in the Olympics on ‘blades’. He was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter for the killing of Steenkamp, however he was found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015, after which his sentence was increased to 13 years and five months.
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Topics: News, Now, Shooting, South Africa