Steenkamps want ‘sufficient punishment, not revenge’

2014-10-16 11:12

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Reeva Steenkamp’s family are not seeking revenge against her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius but do want him to go to jail, the North Gauteng High Court has heard.

“My family are not seeking revenge,” Kim Martin, Steenkamp’s cousin, said to questions from prosecutor Gerrie Nel today.

“We just feel that if you take someone’s life, shoot behind a door, shoot an unarmed person ... You need sufficient punishment.”

She said she was initially afraid that prison would be bad for Pistorius but after the case understood that prisons did cater for people with disabilities.

Martin told the court that everyone had suffered in the case and that Pistorius should go to jail for what he had done to her family, his family and to Steenkamp.

“Everyone has suffered here. We need to send a message to society,” Martin said.

“I don’t think the suggested punishment will fit the crime.”

Under cross-examination, Pistorius’ lawyer, Barry Roux asked her if she would be against a prison term if the conditions would not be humane for a disabled person.

She replied that she would not want anyone to live under inhumane conditions.

Acting national correctional services commissioner Zach Modise was the next to testify in aggravation of sentencing.

He said Pistorius would not have his prostheses taken away in jail and could use his own doctor.

“The registered nurse will report any medical assistance device in possession of the offender,” Nel read from documentation.

Modise said within six hours of admission to a prison a health assessment would be carried out on an offender.

Within 21 days there would be a “complete assessment” of a prisoner’s needs. This would be used to compile a “sentence plan”.

Modise said a prisoner could use his own doctor but would have to pay out of his own pocket.

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