We share the same pain, Zanele’s parents tell June Steenkamp

2014-03-28 15:44

The parents of two women both killed by their boyfriends met in the High Court in Pretoria for mutual support.

“We obviously share the same pain ... theirs is fresh, about a year old, ours is almost three years old,” said Themba Khumalo, the father of murdered teenager Zanele, after meeting Reeva Steenkamp’s mother June today.

“Only time will heal.”

Steenkamp was shot through the locked toilet door of paralympian Oscar Pistorius’ Pretoria home on February 14 last year. He said he had mistaken her for an intruder. However, the State contends the murder was premeditated.

Pregnant Zanele Khumalo was found dead at her parents’ home in Garsfontein, Pretoria East, in April 2011.

Her naked body was discovered under a blanket on her bed when her parents arrived home from work. They rushed her to hospital, but by then she had been dead for about six hours.

Thato Kutumela was sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria today to 20 years in prison for Zanele’s murder and rape.

Themba Khumalo, his wife Busi, and their two daughters met Steenkamp this morning before Kutumela was sentenced and after Pistorius’ case was postponed in a nearby court room.

They shook hands, prayed together, consoled each other and shared some “wise words”, he said.

“We know exactly what they are going through ... in more ways than one, the pain is one. They lost their daughter through a boyfriend, we lost our daughter through a boyfriend – it is an unbelievable pain and experience.

“Reeva’s family is still hurting ... we will remember them in our prayers,” he said.

Khumalo said their criminal had been taken away and this made it easier for the family.

Judge Johan Kruger sentenced Kutumela to 20 years in prison for murder, 10 years in prison for rape and six months in prison for theft, to run concurrently.

Meanwhile, the case against Pistorius was postponed today to April 7 because one of the assessors was ill.

He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with his girlfriend shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges relating to contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

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