Oscar ruined Reeva's family, court told

2014-10-15 21:08
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius "ruined" Reeva Steenkamp's family when he shot her dead, her cousin told a sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old double amputee, who was one of the biggest names in world athletics, was last month convicted of culpable homicide for killing Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day in 2013.

Pistorius, who said he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder, faces anything from a suspended sentence or community service to 15 years in jail.

"This has ruined our whole family. It has ruined Uncle Barry and Aunty June. Reeva was everything to them. They adored her," Kim Martin told the court, referring to Steenkamp's parents.

In her testimony on the third day of the sentencing hearing, Martin painted a picture of a loving and deeply caring daughter who supported her parents as they "battled financially".

During the testimony, Steenkamp's parents struggled to hold back tears, while Pistorius, dressed in a dark suit and tie, bowed his head and appeared to weep.

On Tuesday, the court heard from Pistorius's defence that he had been making monthly payments to the Steenkamps as a show of remorse. The family confirmed they received R6 000 a month from Pistorius from March 2013 to September 2014 as part of a confidential agreement, adding the money would be returned after the deal was made public.

Pistorius's defence has been fighting to keep the athlete out of jail, citing his disability, his contribution to promoting sport among the disabled and the grim conditions in South Africa's overcrowded and violent prisons.

On Monday, a social worker recommended Pistorius be sentenced to three years of house arrest and confined to his uncle's Pretoria home and serve up to 16 hours of community service a month, which state prosecutor Gerrie Nel described as "shockingly inappropriate".

The state dismissed statements from the defence's final witness, probation officer Annette Vergeer, who said prison would "break" Pistorius because of his disability and psychological problems.

"You have a view of what happens in prison and you don't verify that view," Nel said, adding Vergeer's assessment was made after visiting only one small prison two years ago.

Judge Thokozile Masipa had said she wanted to conclude sentencing by Friday.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  thokolize masipa  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.