Steenkamps can’t fathom judgment

2014-09-14 15:00

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Barry Steenkamp took a long drag on a cigarette outside the North Gauteng High Court during a break in ­proceedings after Judge Thokozile Masipa had passed judgment on his ­daughter’s ­boyfriend.

Shaking his head, he told a friend who was there to support him that he “simply couldn’t believe what’s happening”.

“But we’re okay,” he told City Press, smiling. “We’ve ­prepared ourselves. Justice was not done, but we’re at peace.”

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents firmly believe that Oscar ­Pistorius literally got away with murder this week.

They cannot fathom how he could have fired four shots through his toilet door by accident. But they have forgiven him.

A source close to the family said: “They know Oscar did it. They forgive him. For them, Oscar must now live with his conscience.”

Barry Steenkamp’s face went increasingly red as Masipa’s judgment wore on. There were fears for his health – he has suffered a stroke and an “emotional collapse” since his daughter’s death.

The couple’s civil suit – they are seeking damages for emotional distress and loss of earnings – had been placed on hold and will resume after the criminal matter is resolved, said their lawyer, ­Advocate Dup de Bruyn.

The Steenkamps returned home to Port ­Elizabeth yesterday.

De Bruyn watched over the couple like a hawk and shouted “No comment!” at ­approaching journalists this week.

The “peculiarities” around the ­shooting – as described by Masipa in her judgment – will haunt those who knew Reeva. They cannot get past the image of her crumpled jeans on the floor of the murder scene.

“Reeva would never do that. She never left clothes lying around,” said a family member. “Her clothes were always ­neatly folded in her bag, square, with her shoes tucked next to it.”

In court on Friday, Reeva’s cousin Kim Martin sobbed ­uncontrollably in her husband Dion’s arms. The tightknit ­family has seen counsellors since the initial shock of Reeva’s death shattered their lives.

In an interview with Britain’s ITV, June Steenkamp spoke of her shock and disappointment.

“Your heart drops because you just want the truth and it’s going in the wrong direction. That’s how you feel.”

She couldn’t look at Pistorius as Judge Masipa read out her judgment: “I didn’t even look, couldn’t even look, I didn’t want to see him,” she told the channel. “They were jubilant and I can’t share it.”

Barry Steenkamp said he felt pity.

“To see that man there, with the status he had in the world, to see someone standing there so pathetic, you actually feel deep down it could have been prevented, you actually feel sorry for him,” he said.

Reeva’s father is not convinced that Pistorius was candid about what happened in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year. “I feel there’s a lot more to it.

I only wish that the true, true story will come out. I actually understand that he’s sorry?...?but as I said, there’s still something missing. I think there was more to the whole story, coming up to the shooting and the killing.”

After court, Pistorius’ uncle Arnold told journalists that the family was “deeply grateful” to Judge Masipa

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