The parents of Reeva Steenkamp – June and Barry – are about to undertake a very difficult and painful task – meeting jailed Oscar Pistorius who fired four deadly shots that ended their daughter’s life in a tiny bathroom eight years ago.
June and Barry have agreed to participate in the victim-offender dialogue.
Pistorius, who is serving time for killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day in 2013, has already been moved from Pretoria to Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, where Reeva’s parents reside.
The Department of Correctional Services has confirmed weekend media reports that Pistorius has been transferred to a facility in Gqeberha in preparation for a victim-offender dialogue with Reeva’s parents.
As part of his rehabilitation, the department said Pistorius was expected to acknowledge the harm he has caused to the victim’s family.
The fallen double-amputee and former Olympic athlete has served half his 13 years and five months sentence for fatally shooting Reeva with a Glock semi-automatic pistol from behind a locked bathroom door.
The fatal shooting, which Pistorius “The Blade Runner” insisted was an accident – made international headlines. He claimed he thought an intruder had entered the upstairs bathroom using a ladder.
Initially, Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter but the matter was appealed and the conviction was upped to murder which resulted in his sentence being doubled.
Reeva’s heartbroken parents have largely remained silent on their daughter’s murder in recent years.
Last month, lawyer Tania Koen said the Steenkamps had been informed that Pistorius, who turned 35 a week ago, was applying for parole and they were reluctantly willing to meet with him.
She said though they were traumatised, June and Barry had indicated they would like to participate in the victim-offender dialogue.