South Africa's ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius to beg forgiveness from lover's parents

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The process is underway for South African authorities to grant parole to Oscar Pistorius who has served half of his 13-year-5 month sentence for shooting dead his lover Reeva Steenkamp.

Correction Services officials have approached Steenkamp’s parents Barry and June to gauge their willingness to speak to Pistorius who made history at the 2012 London Olympics by becoming the the first amputee to run against able-bodied athletes. Pistorius used specially designed carbon fibre blades attached to his upper legs.

Parole in South Africa requires a process of restorative justice giving the victims of a crime an opportunity to reconcile with the perpetrator or receive an apology.

Victims’s family will participate

Lawyer for Steenkamp’s parents, Tania Koen says they were shocked and taken aback at the possibility of parole being granted now. Their understanding was the would not happen before March 2023.

Nevertheless they were prepared to meet Pistorius to participate in the victim/offender dialogue.

To get parole, the 34-year-old would have to acknowledge his action and take responsibility for it.

Pistorius maintained through his trial that he fired four shots through the locked bathroom door in 2013, killing Steenkamp because he believed her to be an intruder.

Pistorius said he felt vulnerable that night because he was not wearing his prosthesis.

He was born without fibula bones and had both legs amputated at the age of 11 months.

Guilty of culpable homicide

He was initially found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five year in jail.

The State appealed the verdict and the sentence. In 2015, and Pistorius was found guilty of murder and the longer sentence was passed

June Steenkamp has long maintained that she has forgiven Pistorius. However this does not mean he does not have to pay for his crime.

Barry Steenkamp has kept his counsel on this issue, saying he hopes to voice an opinion at an appropriate time.

Emotions still raw

He says his emotions are still very raw.

Pistorius’ father Henke say the Steenkamp family are front and centre of the Pistorius family thinking in dealing with the tragic events of Valentine’s Day 2013 when Reeva was killed.

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