Cape Town - Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s parole hearing is set to begin at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, in Pretoria, on Friday.
In a crime that rocked the world, Pretorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
In 2014, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.
While the State alleged that the murder was committed in a fit of rage, Pistorius has to this day maintained that this was not the case and pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him.
The Steenkamp's lawyer and spokesperson, Tania Koen, said Reeva’s parents were distressed at having to face their daughter’s killer.
“June and Barry are, as expected, very distressed as this is an extremely emotional and difficult time for them.
It's a day that they knew would come but were never ready for,” said Koen. She said while Barry Steenkamp was unable to attend, June would be present.
“They know that the law prescribes parole after a certain time and they have always maintained that the law must take its course, but at the same time, they also feel that they will never see their daughter again.”
Last year, Pistorius had a meeting with the Steenkamps as part of his rehabilitation. According to authorities, the process was aimed at ensuring inmates acknowledged the harm they had caused.
However, Koen said: “They do feel that Oscar has never told the truth of what happened on that fateful night and due to that he can never be fully rehabilitated.”
Legal analyst Nthabiseng Dubazana said among those expected to be present at the hearing would be an advocate, a social worker and parole officers.
“There is a lot that will be deliberated. Steenkamp’s family’s stance will weigh a lot on the final decision and how they feel.
They also need to take into account the time he has spent in jail. Pistorius’s right to freedom will also be taken into account, whether the court believes that the offender has reformed or not, and all of these are important.
It is a decision that needs all angles to be explored because at the end of the day, a crime was committed.”