Jailed South African paralympic star Pistorius met victim’s father

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FILE PHOTO: Pictures of the Decade

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South Africa paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius, jailed in 2016 for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, last week met her father, a lawyer for the Steenkamp family said on Friday.

The lawyer, Tania Koen, said Pistorius took part in a process known as victim-offender dialogue – an integral part of South Africa’s restorative justice programme that brings parties affected by a crime together in a bid to achieve closure.

“(I can) confirm Barry Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius participated in a victim-offender dialogue on 22 June 2022,” Koen said in a statement.

She said she would make no further comment due to her clients’ privacy.

The department of correctional services said earlier that Oscar Pistorius was transferred back to Atteridgeville prison near the capital Pretoria, from St Albans Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape near where Steenkamp’s parents live.

He had been moved closer to her family late last year.

Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs, went from public hero to convicted murderer in a trial that drew worldwide interest. He becomes eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year sentence.

Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesman for the department of correctional services, said in a statement Pistorius will continue serving his sentence as participating in the victim-offender dialogue does not equate to an end of sentence nor parole.

Gold medalist Pistorius, once the darling of the Paralympic movement for pushing for greater recognition and acceptance of disabled athletes, shot dead Steenkamp, a model and law student, in his bathroom in 2013.

Pistorius said he had believed she was an intruder but was jailed in 2016, initially for a six-year term. After an appeal by prosecutors who said this was too lenient, the term was increased to 13 years.

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian in Gdansk and Alexander Winning in Johannesburg; Editing by James Macharia Chege and Angus MacSwan)

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