The parole board has on Friday denied the application of former South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. The department of correctional services said it denied Pistorius' parole as he did not meet the minimum detention term.
Steenkamp’s family opposed his bid and gave verbal and written statements at the hearing on the impact the murder has had on them, their lawyer, Tania Koen, said.
“June is not looking forward to it, but [she is] doing it for Reeva,” Koen said on Thursday, referring to Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp.
He met Reeva’s father last year when participating in a process known as victim-offender dialogue, a part of the restorative justice programme that brings parties affected by a crime together in a bid to achieve closure.
The closed-door parole board meeting was scheduled to start at 10am at Atteridgeville Prison near Pretoria.
READ: Timeline | Will Oscar be paroled this month?
The independent parole board must determine, among other issues, whether Pistorius is at risk of committing similar crimes in the future, Atteridgeville Prison spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said.
It will also consider his disciplinary record, training programmes in prison and his physical and mental state, officials said.
Pistorius’ lawyer, Julian Knight, said that he was “not in a position to comment until such time as the parole board has made a decision”.
Once the darling of the Paralympic movement for pushing for greater recognition and acceptance of disabled athletes, Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp, a model and law student, in his bathroom on February 14 2013.
Pistorius, a gun enthusiast, told the court that he believed Steenkamp to be an intruder, prompting him to shoot her several times with ammunition designed to inflict maximum damage to the human body.
He was first imprisoned in 2014 for a five-year sentence for culpable homicide. He was released in 2015 after serving a sixth of that sentence. On appeal, Pistorius’ conviction was overturned and his sentence increased to six years and then 13 years for murder, in 2016. Prosecutors argued that the initial sentence was too lenient.