Following the non-engagement of Reeva Steenkamp’s parents who are not convinced of his parole eligibility, the much talk about restorative justice meeting that should herald Oscar Pistorius’ parole has stalled.
This prompted former Paralympian athlete’s lawyers to approach the courts in a fresh bid to get him released on parole.
Pistorius’ parole process started after the Supreme Court of Appeal last year amended its ruling on his 13 years sentence for a second time.
The Paralympian, convicted of murder for the 2014 shooting-death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp following a lengthy appeals process. He was initially convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years. However, in 2015 the SCA increased the sentence to 15 years.
His lawyer Julian Knight says, “no application has been issued from the department of correctional facility yet. I am waiting for a response from the department, and should I get no response from them, I have no other option but to proceed with an application to the court.”
Knight has argued that his client is eligible for parole.
“The order of the Supreme Court of Appeal is ambiguous and the committal warrant that they issued as a result of that, he has already passed his eligibility date.”
Knight says there has also not been an update from the department on the offender–victim dialogue with Steenkamp’s family.
“We don’t [have] feedback from the department on that. It says the process is being passed on to the Department of Social Welfare, but the DSW is not giving an update to the DCS. So at this point in time, everyone is in the dark.”
Department of Correction Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says they are engaging with their lawyers and cannot comment at this stage.