Pretoria - Even though he's behind bars for his 31st birthday, it's still a special day for Oscar Pistorius' family – and they'll be with him in spirit, his father says.
"It remains a day full of love and tears – a day like nobody ever should have to experience," Henke Pistorius told YOU on Wednesday 22 November, the day of his son's birthday.
In a WhatsApp circulated to friends and family, Henke wrote a birthday message to his son:
"Dear Oscar, a Blessed 31st Birthday.
"We all feel your sadness, Oscar, and I do believe you have a Big Heart and all your Family and Friends are forever in there.
"I wish you a Joy filled and Blessed 31st Birthday. We will never give up on you, and you must not quit either.
"Dad misses you. I love you very much, my child."
'We can't really do anything for him'
This will be the Paralympian's second consecutive birthday behind bars after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (29) on Valentine's Day in 2013.
"We can't really do anything for him. That's how it is," Henke told YOU late on Tuesday afternoon about plans for celebrating his son's birthday. Oscar is serving his six-year sentence in the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre near Pretoria.
Henke says the initial plan was for him, Oscar's elder brother, Carl, and younger sister, Aimée, to visit Oscar over the weekend.
"He's a quarter of us. It's just the four of us," Henke said. But after the conversation with Henke, YOU established that Aimée, who lives and works in London in the UK, will only be visiting in South Africa in December. Apparently she'd wanted to see her brother on his birthday, but opted to rather visit him in December when she'll be in South Africa for three weeks for the Christmas holidays.
When asked if the family would be doing anything special for Oscar's birthday when they visit over the weekend and whether the Department of Correctional Services would allow a cake or a gift, Henke answered, "We're only allowed to bring items from a list that had been approved by the department. It includes only items that are still in their original packaging…"
Henke is quiet for a moment, then he says, "But it is special. It's my son's birthday."
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Appeal reserved judgment in the State's application for leave to appeal Oscar's six-year sentence. The State is unhappy with Oscar's sentence and feel it's too lenient and "shockingly inappropriate". Oscar may be eligible for parole as soon as 2019.