Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
29 Nov 2021
10:25 am

Correctional services confirm Oscar Pistorius’ transfer to Gqeberha prison

Citizen Reporter

The transfer was necessitated by the need to commence with the victim-offender dialogue process because Reeva Steenkamp's parents are based in Ggeberha.

Picture File: Oscar Pistorius cries while seated in the dock during the verdict in his murder trial in Pretoria on 11 September 2014. Picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA/Pool

The Department of Correctional Services on Monday confirmed weekend reports that convicted murderer and disgraced Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius, was transferred to one of its correctional facilities in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) under St Albans management area.

This followed a report from HeraldLive that Pistorius was transferred to St Albans Correctional Centre in order to partake in the department’s victim-offender dialogue programme with the parents of his deceased girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day eight years ago and was sentenced to 13 years in jail.

The department’s spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, on Sunday could not confirm to The Citizen whether Pistorius was indeed moved to the Eastern Cape facility.

However, in a statement on Monday, Nxumalo confirmed the transfer, saying it was necessitated by the need to commence with the victim-offender dialogue process because Steenkamp’s parents were based in Ggeberha.

“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 the society at large,” Nxumalo said.

ALSO READ: Oscar Pistorius parole process begins

He called on the media to allow all participants in the dialogue to be given space as the process can be sensitive and emotional.

“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. Victim-offender dialogues are sensitive, emotional and inconsolable, hence they are presided by highly trained officials who ought to ensure that all parties derive value from the process.”

The department said it was unable to preempt the time frame of the process and how long it would take as this would be guided by the level of preparedness by all participants.

“It is thus important to clarify that a victim-offender dialogue proceeding is not a parole placement process, but a programme that takes place prior to an offender being considered for placement.”

Parole process

Earlier this month, the department confirmed the victim-offender dialogue process would soon get underway and that Pistorius was eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year sentence.

Nxumalo said at the time the victim-offender dialogue process was almost at the last leg before the inmate’s profile could be taken before the parole board to consider if he was suitable for parole.

“Once that is done, his profile will go to the parole board where the decision will be taken whether he will be placed on parole or not,” Nxumalo said.

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe. Additional reporting by Marizka Coetzer