After serving half of his prison term, Oscar Pistorius is eligible to be released on parole.
The athlete had killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp some years back.
The South African Paralympic gold medallist is serving 13 years and five months in prison after being found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, and has been eligible for parole since July.
Pistorius is now expected to meet her parents in South Africa’s ‘restorative justice’ parole process before he is considered for release.
He was convicted for manslaughter for the killing of Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
He claimed he had mistaken Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate for an intruder but was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.
The sentence was increased in 2015 to 13 years and five months after he was found guilty of murder on appeal. But Pistorius may now be released on parole after serving six years in a low-security jail in Pretoria.
South Africa’s department of correctional services said in a statement they were setting up a meeting between Steenkamp’s parents and Pistorius as part of the ‘restorative justice’ process.
The statement said offenders ‘must acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions’ and that both parties must have the opportunity ‘to reconcile or an apology’.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department were ‘not yet there’ on possible parole for Pistorius.
‘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.
She added Pistorius is not entitled to parole, only to be considered for release on parole.
June told local media in 2018 that she had forgiven Oscar for murdering her daughter but believed that he should still be punished.
Reeva’s parents English born June from Blackburn, Lancashire, and her South African born retired horse trainer husband Barry were always convinced she was murdered.
The couple told a TV channel that they believe Reeva had packed her bags and told Pistorius she was leaving him on the evening of her death and that he killed her.
Pistorius was the first double amputee to race in the Olympics competing in the 2012 London games becoming a role model for the disabled worldwide.