Oscar Pistorius has been moved 750 miles to a different and more dangerous prison so that the Paralympian killer can meet Reeva Steenkamp’s parents.
The 35-year-old shot dead their daughter, who was his model lover at the time, as she cowered in a bathroom on St Valentines Day in 2013.
Pistorius is now close to winning parole, and as part of the process, Reeva’s parents Barry and June have agreed to see the man who murdered Reeva.
The disgraced athlete had been serving his 13.5-year sentence at the “comfy” Atteredgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
However, he is now close to being freed from his sentence.
Reeva’s elderly father Barry, who has been treated for a heart condition, and wife June said that the long journey to meet him face-to-face was too much for them.
So the prison authorities decided to bring Pistorius to the Steenkamp's under high security and the utmost secrecy to make sure the meeting could happen.
An hour before dawn on Friday he was “ghosted” out of Atterdgeville prison and driven the 750 miles to St Albans Correctional Centre which is near their home.
The 13-hour journey saw Pistorius being transported in a prison van with a police car escort before he arrived at the notorious Port Elizabeth prison facility.
It is one of the five most dangerous prisons in South Africa and houses 3200 of the most dangerous killers and rapists in the criminal justice system.
There are constant riots and running battles between rival gangs inside the run-down jail and warders have been murdered trying to keep control.
Pistorius was taken away from the main jail population where it is said the cells hold up to 44 dangerous prisoners each and to a secure single cell for safety.
What do you make of Oscar Pistorius being moved to a different prison to speak with Reeva Steenkamp's parents? Let us know in the comments section.
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The convicted killer who murdered Reeva by shooting a hail of bullets through a bathroom door when she was cowering inside agreed to the meeting.
It is not known exactly when the meet will take place but it is understood that Reeva’s parents will be driven to the medium-security prison next week.
They were contacted by the SA Department of Correctional Services in October and asked if they would agree to meet Pistorius and said yes.
A warder at St Albans told HeraldLive: ”He arrived late yesterday (Friday) and is being temporarily kept in a single cell far away from everyone else”.
Attorney Tania Koen, who represents Steenkamp’s parents who live in Port Elizabeth 15 minutes from the prison confirmed the move.
She said both Barry and June were “fully aware” that their daughter’s killer had been transferred from Gauteng Province near to them in Eastern Province.
Koen added: “There will be no further comment on this matter”.
Department of Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed they had to work out logistical arrangements to move jails for Pistorius.
Pistorius became unexpectedly became eligible for parole in July after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled the 506 days he already served behind bars before being sentenced to 13-and-a-years had not been counted.
He was initially sentenced to 5 years in prison in October 2014, for culpable homicide but the State challenged it and in 2015 it was changed to murder and 13.5 years.
With time served before the increased murder sentence, Pistorius has now served half of it and through his attorney, the killer launched his bid for parole.
His repeated trials gripped South Africa and the world as he claimed he was trying to “protect” Reeva thinking an intruder was in his bathroom.
He fired a hail of 9mm bullets through his bathroom door fatally hitting the model four times after crawling across his bedroom floor on his stumps.
The former athlete still insists that he believed that she was an intruder.
Pistorius was dubbed Blade Runner after being fitted with prosthetics to allow him to walk then run after both his lower legs were amputated when he was 11 months old due to a birth defect.
He went on to become a Paralympic World Cup gold medal champ in the 100m and 200m and was the first double amputee to run in an able-bodied Olympic Games.
But the world-famous disabled athlete’s life came crashing down on him on Valentine’s Day, 2013, when he shot Reeva dead at his home in Pretoria.
The former golden boy of world sport is serving his term at the low-security Atteridge Correctional Centre in Pretoria where he has his own cell and a vegetable patch to tend.
His father Henke revealed in 2018 that he has become a spiritual leader and now runs a bible study group and helps other inmates with their reading and writing.
A source inside the prison revealed: "Oscar is a model prisoner and the only hurdle in his way of receiving parole at the earliest date depends on his victim’s family.
“They are entitled to make submissions into whether he should be released or not and they can carry a lot of weight with the parole board making judgment,” he said.
However, Reeva’s mother June, 74, from Blackburn, Lancs, and her South African retired horse trainer husband Barry, 78, have said that they have forgiven him.
Earlier this year they went on Good Morning Britain speaking from their Port Elizabeth home saying they believed he had shown no remorse.
They confirmed Pistorius had written them a letter from prison with June adding: "I think he would only show remorse if it helps him get out of jail.
“We haven’t had the full story. I don’t believe he has told the truth. He changed his mind three times under oath to a different story in court.
“That’s what we want, the truth. This has been a horror story for us”.
Susanna Reid then asked the parents if they could ever forgive Pistorius.
June replied: “Sorry is not enough in my case. It’s not enough for losing her life, her future was ahead of her.
“Now she has no wedding, we have no grandchildren and she would never have her wedding dress.
“She had nothing and he took everything away from her and us and that is something that is important to me, the things she never had.
‘I forgave him through God because I believe in God and I’m Christian and had to but it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got to pay for what he’s done.
“He has showed no remorse and we don’t believe his story,” she said.
Their lawyer Tania Koen said recently when news of a meeting to be held between Pistorius and the Steenkamps became public that it would happen.
She said: “Barry has said for years he wants to meet Oscar and he has questions to ask. They are not emotionally prepared but will meet him”.
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