Reeva Steenkamp's dad 'died of a broken heart' just weeks before Oscar Pistorius parole hearing, his grieving widow says | The Sun

THE grieving mum of the model murdered by Oscar Pistorius has revealed her husband died of a broken heart just weeks before the killer's parole hearing.

Disgraced former Paralympian Pistorius is making another shameless bid for freedom today after murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

The former sprinter, now 37, has served over half of his sentence in a South African prison after he was jailed for murder in 2016.

Pistorious shot dead model Reeva, 29, with four bullets fired through the locked door of the bathroom in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013.

After a round of appeals and challenges, Pistorius – dubbed the "Blade Runner" because of his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs – was sentenced to 13 years and five months for murder.

After a failed bid for release in March, a parole board is set to debate his case once again today.



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Reeva's mother, June, is reportedly not opposing parole and will not attend the hearing today, although both she and her late husband strongly objected at the previous hearing.

Barry Steenkamp died on September 14, just weeks before Pistorius could possibly be released.

Today June told the court in a victim impact statement: "I have no doubt that Barry died of a broken heart.

"No parent should have to bury a child and most certainly not in the circumstances that prevailed in the demise of Reeva.

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"Following Reeva’s death, Barry and I, both devastated, tried with whatever emotional reserves that remained to take care and support one another

"What he meant in my life and the extent of his support have now crystallized into what remains after – an unending black hole of pain and loneliness."

The grieving widow said she would not attend today's hearing as she "simply cannot muster the energy to face him again at this stage".

The parole hearing is being held today in Atteridgeville prison, just outside Pretoria where Pistorious lived when he killed Reeva.

If his bid for freedom is approved, a decision on his release date could come quickly.

Pistorius has always claimed the horrific 2013 shooting was a mistake, saying he thought she was an intruder.

He shot her in the head, hip and arm and later claimed in court that it was only when he broke the bathroom door down that he realised she was in there.

June today said: "I do not believe Oscar’s version that he thought the person in the toilet was a burglar. In fact, I do not know anybody who does."

Reeva's brother Adam Steenkamp last night made a plea that Pistorious be kept behind bars to finish his sentence.

He told MailOnline: "I already thought the original sentence was lenient in itself.

"I support and understand the reasons for someone getting parole but this is about my sister and I would prefer he serves the time he was given."

Judges in South Africa previously admitted they failed to fully backdate Pistorious' jail term when he was first convicted.

It meant that 506 days he had already served were not included – and made him eligible for parole in March this year instead of late 2024.

Pistorious was denied parole during a closed-door hearing earlier this year and he was set to face another seven years behind bars.

Tania Koen, a lawyer representing Reeva's family, said at the time the result was a "huge sense of relief" for mum June, who did attend the hearing.

She said on behalf of Reeva's parents: "While we welcome today's decision, today is not a cause for celebration.

"We miss Reeva terribly and will do so for the rest of our lives. We believe in justice and hope that it continues to prevail."

As part of his rehabilitation, Pistorius met June and Barry in 2022.

Barry revealed the runner "wailed like a child" as he tried to explain his actions and refused to accept he was a murderer.

He was denied parole in March as he "did not complete the minimum Detention Period", the Department of Correctional Services confirmed.

In South Africa, offenders are automatically eligible for parole consideration after serving half of their sentences.

Pistorious has now served over half of his sentence, 13 years and five months.

The Department of Corrections previously said a parole board on November 24 will decide whether Pistorius is "suitable or not for social integration".

They will consider his conviction, his behaviour while behind bars and any risk he might pose to the public before they make the decision.

However, even if the ex-athlete is released, he will be kept under close police protection due to fears of revenge attacks, MailOnline reported.

He was initially sentenced to six years in jail for Reeva's murder – but the term was doubled after the state appealed it was too lenient.

Speaking to The Sun on the tenth anniversary of the killing in February this year, Reeva's brother, Adam, said the athlete should not be allowed out of jail early and must serve his full term.

He also fears their family will never know the truth of what happened to Reeva when she was gunned down in 2013.

"I absolutely stand by his view that Oscar is unrepentant and obviously still does not take responsibility for the murder of my sister and that he should continue to serve his time," he said.

Adam paid tribute to his "wonderful" sister, and said his family will "never come to terms" with her death.

"I miss her every day. What happened that morning ten years ago has had devastating consequences on everyone," he said.

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