Oscar Pistorius has become a spiritual leader and is converting inmates at his South African prison – his father has revealed.

The former Paralympic gold medallist, who is serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of his model girlfriend Reva Steenkamp, 29, is now the leader of a bible group at the Atteridgeville correctional centre in Pretoria.

Henke Pistorius said that his son had ‘always been a child of God’ and was ‘making a difference to others’ within the prison walls.

‘I have no doubt that Oscar has changed the environment in the prison for the better, he is helping to mediate between people and is having a positive influence,’ Mr Pistorius said.

‘He can feel he is making a difference to others who really needed a difference to be made — to give their lives meaning, purpose and some hope. As a result, things have also improved for him. It’s a wonderful story.

‘They are hardcore chaps, the problem people in the prison, but now they are all meeting to follow the Bible once or twice a week.’ 

The source said: ‘The Oscar I’ve come to know in jail is kind-hearted and cares for his fellow inmates. He buys food for those who can’t afford it or those who are far away from their relatives. And he does this without asking for anything in return.

‘Oscar also doesn’t deny what he did and shows remorse every day without faking it or to manipulate people’s opinions. This is the side he shows in jail and people should stop judging him’.

Pistorius is serving a 15-year-sentence for the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius is serving a 15-year-sentence for the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

The source said that Pistorius keeps a low profile behind bars and did not enjoy any preferential treatment adding: ‘He likes his privacy and spends a lot of his time reading and visiting the prison library. He’s a real bookworm.’.

Murdered Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp, 71, recently told local media that she had forgiven Oscar for murdering her daughter but believed that he should still be punished.