The department of correctional services on Monday confirmed convicted Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been transferred to a prison in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape in preparation for him to meet with the family of his late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius had been serving his sentence in Pretoria for killing Steenkamp on February 14 2013.
“The transfer is necessitated by the need to commence with the processes of a victim-offender dialogue (VOD) as the victims are based in Gqeberha,” said correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.
“Offenders participate in the victim-offender dialogue as part of their rehabilitation path wherein they are able to acknowledge the harm they have caused to their victims and society at large.
“This is an internal process and it is our humble plea that all participants be allowed to partake without undue pressure to disclose contents of the engagement. VODs are sensitive, emotional and inconsolable, hence they are presided by highly trained officials who ought to ensure all parties derive value from the process.
“The department is unable to preempt the time frame as this will be guided by the level of preparedness by all participants.”
This is the first step towards Pistorius putting in an application for parole.
Nxumalo said Steenkamp’s parents agreeing to meet with Pistorius did not necessarily mean he would be granted parole.
“It is important to clarify that a VOD proceeding is not a parole placement process, but a programme that takes place prior to an offender being considered for placement.”