No one was prepared for the events that would transpire on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after former Paralympian sensation, Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp three times. She was shot in the head, pelvis and arm, the court heard. He claimed he mistook her for an intruder on the night.
In 2014, the ‘Blade Runner’ was sentenced for her death, initially with a ruling of “culpable homicide” by Judge Thokozile Masipa, and sentenced him to five years for manslaughter but prosecutors challenged the verdict.
In July 2016, Judge Masipa handed down a six-year term for murder, saying “I am of the view that a long-term imprisonment will not serve justice… He’s a fallen hero who has lost his career and is ruined financially.”
The Supreme Court of Appeal then increased the sentence to 15 years but deducted the time he has already served either in prison or under house arrest, which means that he faces an outstanding sentence of 13 years and five months.
Pistorius was placed in Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison after his first sentence, and was released in 2015 after one year in prison. In 2016, he was moved to the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
Pistorius is now eligible for release on parole after the Department of Correctional Services previously stated that he would only become eligible in March 2023. But when it was discovered that Pistorius had already served half of his sentence, the Appeal Court’s ruling moved the date forward by 10 months.
In the latest news, and according to News24, Steenkamp’s parents said that they are willing to meet with Pistorius as part of that process. This comes after Attorney Tania Koen, who represents Reeva’s parents, Barry and June Steenkamp, told News24 that they had been caught off guard after being approached by correctional services officials regarding Pistorius’ parole hearing.
They reportedly thought it would only take place in two years time. However, their meeting, which was scheduled to take place on October 27 and 29 was cancelled at the last minute. There’s no indication what the Steenkamps’ attitude would be towards Pistorius being granted parole.