A picture taken on January 26, 2013 shows Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius posing next to Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. - AFP

JOHANNESBURG: South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has moved to another prison as part of his parole process after serving half his sentence for murdering his girlfriend, prison services said yesterday. The athlete has served more than half of a 13-year jail term, the minimum required to qualify for parole, for murdering model Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

He has now been transferred from South Africa's administrative capital Pretoria to a prison in the southern city of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth. "Oscar Pistorius has been moved to a prison in Gqeberha. He will stay there until the process for his parole ends," a Correctional Services spokesman told AFP.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. The double amputee was found guilty of manslaughter in 2014 and sentenced to six years in jail, but the conviction was later upgraded to murder in 2015 and led to a 13-year term.

Pistorius, 35, has always denied the murder, saying he was convinced a thief had broken into his ultra-secure Pretoria home. Tania Koen, a lawyer for the Steenkamps, said the prison services would send social workers to talk to the parents and prepare them for the application process.

"The matter is now in the hands of correctional services," Koen added. She had previously explained that the announcement of possible parole had come as a shock to the victim's parents, June and Barry Steenkamp. Before the parole process can begin, the department needs to conduct a dialogue with the victim's family and the offender. Pistorius, nicknamed the "Blade Runner", became a world star when he lined up with able-bodied athletes in the 400 metres at the 2012 London Olympics. - AFP