Reeva’s family commemorate her birthday

2013-08-19 00:00

TODAY would have been Reeva Steenkamp’s 30th birthday.

Her family have decided not to attend or even follow the court case when the indictment will be served on the man who shot her earlier this year on Valentine’s Day.

“Because it is her day, we want to remember her and commemorate her birthday — quietly and privately,” said the late model’s uncle, Michael Steenkamp, yesterday.

He and his wife were with Reeva’s parents, Barry and June Steenkamp, at a family gathering to mark Reeva’s birthday in Port Elizabeth.

“Maybe we will do something small, like bake a cake,” Michael Steenkamp said.

Meanwhile, Oscar Pistorius’s family closed ranks around the paralympic medal winner yesterday.

The state will serve an indictment on Pistorius in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today, following a six-month-long police investigation.

The indictment will stipulate how the state alleges Reeva’s murder took place.

Pistorius is expected to be on trial in the Pretoria high court on a charge of premeditated murder from March 3 to 20 next year.

He will also be charged with the illegal possession of ammunition.

During his bail application, the court heard that about 40 .38-Special rounds were found in his safe.

Pistorius’s defence argued that he was storing the rounds for someone else.

He said during his bail application that he mistook Reeva for a burglar in his bathroom. He was frightened and shot four rounds through the closed bathroom door.

Pistorius said only after shooting did he realise that Reeva was no longer in the bedroom.

However, the state alleges the shooting was premeditated.

State advocate Gerrie Nel told the court that there need not be a long timeline before such a premeditated act is committed. Premeditation can last anything from a few seconds to a longer period, he said.

A list of witnesses will also be attached to today’s indictment.

The National Prosecution Authority confirmed it would be ready today.

No one wanted to expand on the precise charges, as an indictment must first be served on an accused in court before the documents can be made public.

Earlier reports that anticipated two additional charges of recklessly firing a firearm have proved to be inaccurate.

The case is expected to start at 9 am.

Desmond Nair, chief magistrate of Pretoria, said he had received several requests from media for permission to broadcast the proceedings, which would amount to little more than an application for postponement.

Arnold, Pistorius’s uncle, with whom the athlete has been living since his release on bail, referred all media requests to the family’s spokesperson, Anneliese Burgess.

When asked whether Pistorius was rested after his holiday in Hermanus and ready for his appearance in court, his uncle said the athlete had been at the seaside for work, and not for a vacation.

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