Slain model’s mom lashes out at Oscar Pistorius

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Slain model Reeva Steenkamp’s mother has angrily lashed out at Oscar Pistorius, revealing in British media yesterday the man who shot her daughter was “jealous” and “trigger-happy”.

June Steenkamp, whose book Reeva: A Mother’s Story will go on sale from November 6, made headlines in The Times, The Independent and The Guardian newspapers.

An extract from her book was published in The Times newspaper’s weekend magazine yesterday.

Steenkamp, 68, and her husband Barry Steenkamp, 71, will also feature in tomorrow’s (MONDAY) edition of UK celebrity magazine Hello.

A snippet and photos of this report has already been published on Hello’s website, announcing the “world exclusive interview moments after the trial ended in South Africa” last Tuesday.

Pictures show the Steenkamp’s looking sullen, sitting on a beach, and with a horse on a farm. Barry Steenkamp is described as a horse trainer who “runs a small stable near the coastal town of Port Elizabeth”.

June Steenkamp told Hello the court’s decision to send famous paralympian athlete Pistorius to jail “was the best sentence we could have expected”.

On Tuesday, Judge Thokozile Masipa, of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, sentenced Pistorius to five years imprisonment for fatally shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, at his home on February 14 last year. He told the court he thought it was an intruder in his bathroom when he fired four deadly shots.

He was not found guilty of murder but of culpable homicide. It is expected the 27-yar-old double amputee would serve only ten months of his prison sentence.

Steenkamp told Hello she “believe(s) Oscar expected to go to prison” by the time his seven-month trial concluded. She told the magazine: “It’s been a terrible, long journey”.

“He was almost resigned to what was coming. It was obvious in the court from his manner; he was calm and wasn’t performing,” she said.

Her husband added: “We’re both satisfied with the result and are relieved it’s all over. All we want to do now is get on with our lives.”

The Times reported that Steenkamp believed if Pistorius had not killed her daughter, “it would have been someone else ‘sooner or later’”.

The newspaper reported yesterday that Pistorius “shot his girlfriend in a jealous rage, then finished her off with three more bullets so she ‘couldn’t tell the world what really happened’, the victim’s mother claims”.

Steenkamp reportedly called her deceased daughter’s boyfriend “gun-toting” and “combustible”.

In The Times-published extract from her book, Steenkamp also describes Pistorius as a “pathetic figure”.

“Why decide to say sorry to me in a televised trial in front of the whole world? I was unmoved by his apology,” she wrote.

“I felt if I appeared to be sorry for him at this stage of his trial on the charge of premeditated murder, it would in the eyes of others lessen the awfulness of what he had done.”

She said she and her husband were still coming to terms with “the vision of Reeva suffering this terrible trauma”. Blood-splattered images of the murder scene were exhibited during the Pistorius trial.

Steenkamp added: “We’re not looking for vengeance or for him to get hurt; we’re just happy because he’s going to be punished for what he’s done.

“He may come out early on good behaviour, but by the time he’s served that time, it will have taught him that he can’t go around doing things like that.”

After sentencing, Pistorius was sent to the hospital section of the Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria. He reportedly cried himself to sleep on his first night in jail.

The athlete’s fans meanwhile wrote supportive messages on his website.

One fan, Noluthando, wrote: “Oscar you made us proud in the world by your courage. Please keep strong.”

Another, Carina, wrote: “I feel so sorry for Oscar. He really doesn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life in jail. He’s a great guy… and the world needs him. I’m sure he never wanted to shoot his girlfriend. Oscar, stay strong.”

National sports minister Fikile Mbalula was less optimistic after Pistorius was sent to jail. He told the Cape Argus newspaper this “was the end of the road of his journey”.

“It is unfortunate that it had to end in this manner, but the courts have spoken and we will respect their decision,” said Mbalula.

Steenkamp said she intends to establish The Reeva Foundation where women could find refuge from abuse. She told Hello magazine she would be “helping the women who Reeva wanted to rescue”.

Reeva, who was a qualified lawyer, often posted messages on her Twitter account, which is still online, speaking against women’s abuse and rape.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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