Reeva Steenkamp’s parents ‘will oppose parole for killer athlete Pistorius’

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents ‘will oppose parole for killer athlete Pistorius’
Oscar Pistorius during a bail hearing in 2013 (Themba Hadebe/AP)

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents will oppose Oscar Pistorius’s parole application, their lawyer has said.

Unless the former Olympic runner “comes clean” about the deadly shooting of his model girlfriend 10 years ago, her parents “don’t feel that he is rehabilitated”, Tania Koen said.

Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion who made history by running against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 Olympics, was convicted of murder for the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting of Ms Steenkamp, 29, at his home.

The 36-year-old claims he shot Ms Steenkamp by mistake – thinking she was an intruder.

Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2016 during his trail for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (Themba Hadebe/AP)

He was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison and is eligible for parole under South African law after serving half his sentence.

Ms Koen said Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, who hails from Blackburn, Lancashire, will submit written and oral statements at the hearing to oppose Pistorius’s bid for freedom.

“She doesn’t feel that he must be released,” Ms Koen told reporters outside the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria, where Pistorius has been held since 2016 and where the hearing is expected to take place on Friday.

Submissions from a victim’s relative are one of the factors a parole board takes into account when deciding if an offender can be released early on parole.

Pistorius in 2012 (PA)

The board will also consider Pistorius’s behaviour in prison and if he would be a threat to society if released.

A decision could come on Friday but is more likely to take days to finalise.

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