Cape Town, South Africa ( Associated Press) — Former South African track star Oscar Pistorius has visited the father of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot and killed in 2013, as part of a parole process. A lawyer for the victim’s family told the Associated Press on Friday.
Lawyer Tania Koen said in a text message that Pistorius and Barry Steenkamp met face-to-face on June 22 in what is known in South Africa as a victim-criminal dialogue. It gives crime victims or their family members an opportunity to meet criminals, if they so desire, before offenders are eligible for parole.
Coen confirmed the meeting but declined to provide further details. He wrote in his message: “Conversations are private and confidential matters, so we want our client’s privacy to be respected.”
Pistorius, once the Olympic double-empty track star who created history by competing, became a candidate for parole last year, eight years after he murdered his girlfriend at his home in the South African capital, Pretoria. Pistorius, now 35, was convicted of murder after a long and dramatic trial and several appeals. He was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison.
He has served most of his sentence in a prison in Pretoria, but before meeting Barry Steenkamp, he is transferred to a facility south of the town of Gakebera, where the Steenkamp family lives.
Pistorius’ parole hearing was scheduled for last year, but was canceled after Steenkamp’s parents could not meet.
In South Africa, people serving a sentence for a serious crime must have served at least half of their sentence to be eligible for parole.