Oscar Pistorius has been transferred to a dangerous prison in order to meet the parents of his murdered girlfriend.
Oscar Pistorius has been transferred 750 miles to a more dangerous prison in order for him to meet Reeva Steenkamp's parents.
On St Valentine's Day in 2013, the 35-year-old shot dead their daughter, who was his model lover at the time, as she cowered in a bathroom.
Pistorius is on the verge of being released from prison, and as part of the process, Reeva's parents, Barry and June, have agreed to meet with the man who murdered their daughter.
The disgraced athlete was serving his 13.5-year sentence in Pretoria's "comfortable" Atteredgeville Correctional Centre.
He is, however, on the verge of being released from his sentence.
The long journey to meet Reeva's elderly father Barry, who has been treated for a heart condition, and his wife June were too much for them.
To ensure that the meeting could take place, the prison authorities decided to transport Pistorius to the Steenkamps under strict security and secrecy.
He was "ghosted" out of Atterdgeville prison an hour before dawn on Friday and driven the 750 miles to St Albans Correctional Centre, which is close to their home.
Pistorius was transported in a prison van with a police car escort for the 13-hour journey before arriving at the notorious Port Elizabeth prison facility.
It is one of the five most dangerous prisons in South Africa, housing 3200 of the country's most dangerous killers and rapists.
Inside the run-down jail, there are constant riots and running battles between rival gangs, and warders have been murdered in an attempt to maintain control.
Pistorius was moved from the main prison population, where cells can hold up to 44 dangerous inmates each, to a secure single cell for his safety.
The convicted murderer who killed Reeva by shooting a hail of bullets through a bathroom door while she was cowering inside agreed to meet.
The exact date of the meeting is unknown, but Reeva's parents are expected to be transported to the medium-security prison next week.
The SA Department of Correctional Services contacted them in October and asked if they would agree to meet Pistorius, and they said yes.
"He arrived late yesterday (Friday) and is being temporarily kept in a single cell far away from everyone else," a warder at St Albans told HeraldLive.
Tania Koen, an attorney who represents Steenkamp's parents, who live 15 minutes from the prison, confirmed the decision.
Barry and June were "fully aware," she said, that their daughter's killer had been transferred from Gauteng Province to Eastern Province near them.
"There will be no further comment on this matter," Koen added.
Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services, confirmed that they had to make logistical arrangements to move jails for Pistorius.
After the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the 506 days he had already served behind bars before being sentenced to 13-and-a-half years had not been counted, Pistorius became eligible for parole in July.
In October 2014, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for culpable homicide, but the State appealed, and the sentence was changed to murder and 13.5 years in 2015.
With time served prior to the increased murder sentence, Pistorius has now served half of his sentence and has applied for parole through his attorney.
His numerous trials enthralled South Africa and the rest of the world, as he claimed he was attempting to "protect" Reeva by believing an intruder was in his bathroom.
After crawling across his bedroom floor on his stumps, he fired a hail of 9mm bullets through his bathroom door, killing the model four times.
The former athlete maintains that he mistook her for an intruder.
After both of his lower legs were amputated when he was 11 months old due to a birth defect, Pistorius was dubbed Blade Runner after being fitted with prosthetics to allow him to walk and then run.
He went on to win gold medals in the 100m and 200m at the Paralympic World Cup and was the first double amputee to compete in an able-bodied Olympic Games.
However, on Valentine's Day, 2013, the world-famous disabled athlete's life came crashing down on him when he fatally shot Reeva at his Pretoria home.
The former world champion is serving his sentence at Pretoria's Atteridge Correctional Centre, where he has his own cell and a vegetable garden to tend to.
In 2018, Henke's father revealed that he had become a spiritual leader and that he now leads a bible study group and tutors other inmates in reading and writing.
"They have the right to make submissions on whether he should be released or not, and those submissions can have a lot of weight with the parole board," he said.
Reeva's mother June, 74, from Blackburn, Lancashire, and her retired South African horse trainer husband Barry, 78, have forgiven him.
They appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier this year, speaking from their home in Port Elizabeth, saying they believed he had shown no remorse.
They confirmed Pistorius had written them a letter from prison, with June adding, "I believe he would only show remorse if it would help him get out of jail."
"We haven't heard the whole story yet."
I don't think he's telling the truth.
In court, he changed his mind three times while under oath and told a different story each time.
"The truth is what we want; this has been a nightmare for us."
Susanna Reid then inquired about the parents' ability to forgive Pistorius.
"Sorry isn't enough in my case," June responded.
It wasn't enough for her to lose her life; she had a bright future ahead of her.
"Now she won't have a wedding, we won't have grandchildren, and she won't have her wedding gown."
"She had nothing, and he took everything away from her and us, and the things she never had are important to me."
'I had to forgive him through God because I believe in God and am a Christian, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to pay for what he's done.'
"We don't believe his story because he has shown no remorse," she said.
When word of a meeting between Pistorius and the Steenkamps became public, their lawyer Tania Koen said it would take place.
"Barry has said for years that he wants to meet Oscar and that he has questions for him," she said.
They are not emotionally prepared to meet him, but they will."