PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The parents of Reeva Steenkamp, the woman Oscar Pistorius shot dead 10 years ago, will oppose the former Olympic runner’s application for parole, their lawyer said Friday.
Lawyer Tania Koen said ahead of a scheduled parole hearing for Pistorius that “unless he comes clean, they don’t feel that he is rehabilitated.”
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 Reeva Steenkamp at his home.
Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp by mistake thinking she was an intruder in his home.
He was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison and is eligible for parole under South African law after having served half his sentence.
Koen said Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, would submit written and oral statements at Friday’s hearing opposing Pistorius’ application to be released from prison.
“She doesn’t feel that he must be released,” Koen told reporters outside the Atteridgeville Correctional Center in Pretoria, where Pistorius has been held since 2016 and where his parole hearing is expected to take place.
Submissions from a victim’s relative are just one of the factors a parole board takes into account when deciding if an offender can be released early on parole. The parole board will also consider Pistorius’ behavior in prison and if he would be a threat to society if he were released.
A decision on Pistorius’ parole could come on Friday but is more likely to take days to finalize.
Imray reported from Cape Town, South Africa