It was the case that kept South African (and people from all around the world) glued to their TV screens. Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius being tried and convicted of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp’s, murder. Now, almost 10 years later since the valentines day shooting, Pistorius is eligible for parole.
According to new reporting from News24 legal mastermind Karyn Maughan, Oscar Pistorius has been eligible for parole since July this year. That’s after the Supreme Court of Appeal corrected its ruling on Pistorius’s sentence. There originally had been a mix-up with the judge not taking into consideration the more than 500 days that Pistorius had already spent behind bars.
News24 reports that Reeva Steenkamp’s parents were shocked when Correctional Services approached them about Pistorius’ parole hearing. They were reportedly under the impression, like most of the world, that he would only be eligible in 2023.
The publication spoke to the attorney representing the Steenkamp family, Tania Koen. Koen has revealed that Steenkamp’s parents are willing to meet with their daughter’s killer, as part of the standard “victim-offender dialogue” process.
The Department of Correctional Services has confirmed that Pistorius’ parole process is underway, but has been delayed by logistical difficulties. These difficulties relate to Pistorius being jailed in Gauteng, while the Steenkamp’s live in another province.
Pistorius himself is said to be very willing to meet with Reeva’s parents.
The man affectionately known as the Blade Runner, before his trial, was first convicted of culpable homicide in 2014. He initially received a five-year prison sentence as a result. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The court then overturned the High Court’s verdict and convicted him of murder.
Pistorius shot Steenkamp several times while she was in the bathroom behind a locked door on the night of Valentine’s Day in 2013. He maintains that he thought he was shooting at an intruder who had climbed in through the bathroom window.