Pretoria – It’s been 10 years since the former athlete Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, claiming he had mistaken her for an intruder and shot her through the bathroom door. With the time he has served, he might soon be a free man.
However, Reeva’s elderly parents are still advocating for the former Paralympian to remain in prison, with his parole hearing approaching next month.
Speaking to MailOnline, the family of the murdered model revealed details of a shocking prison cell confrontation with their daughter's murderer – and why they now believe the killer should stay behind bars for life.
The Steenkamp’s sentiments come after Reeva’s father met with Pistorius last year as part of the Victim-Offender Dialogue, facilitated by the Department of Correctional Services.
The programme is part of the rehabilitation process for parole candidates. It aims to provide closure for the victim’s family as well as an opportunity for the perpetrator to seek forgiveness.
Reeva’s father, Barry, went to face Pistorius in jail but her mother, June, declined the invitation. Instead, she wrote a letter to the athlete.
The couple said they initially forgave the athlete for killing their daughter, but since Pistorius refused to admit to them that he deliberately shot their daughter, they said they will be opposing his early release.
Barry told the publication: “I told Oscar directly that he shot my daughter deliberately, and he denied it. He stuck to his story that he thought it was an intruder. After all these years we are still waiting for him to admit he did it in anger. That is all we wanted.
'“If he told me the truth, he would have been a free man by now and I would have let the law take its course over his parole. But I was wasting my time. He is a murderer. He should remain in jail.’’
Meanwhile, June told the publication that she still bore animosity towards Pistorius.
She said: “Oscar has taken a lot away from us and from Reeva. So now, instead of getting upset I get angry. I am angry with him. It is a horrible thing to say, but I can’t stand him.
“I don’t think that he got enough time (in jail), and if somebody takes a life they must pay with their life in jail,” June said.
Pistorius shot and killed Reeva on Valentine’s Day in 2014. In December 2015, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide and handed a six-year prison sentence.
However, his charge was later changed to murder, and his jail term increased to 13 years following an unsuccessful appeal in November, 2017.
In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo explained that according to South African law, offenders become eligible for parole after serving half their sentence.
“It doesn’t guarantee that the person will be placed on parole, but the person has to be considered in checking whether this person is suitable and ready to be placed out there,” Nxumalo said.