ANCWL apologises to Steenkamps for blunder after Oscar's murder conviction

Johannesburg – ANC Women's League (ANCWL) President Bathabile Dlamini apologised to June Steenkamp in person for a faux pas when a member said (Reeva) Steenkamp must rot in jail, instead of (Oscar) Pistorius.

The comment was made after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgement on Thursday, where Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of murder.

During a live television interview in Bloemfontein, an ANCWL member who identified herself as Free State chairperson Mapaseka Nkoane, said "Steenkamp must rot in Jail", while in fact referring to Pistorius.

The footage, broadcasted by ANN7, went viral on social media, with the public mocking the ANCWL.

ANCWL National Spokesperson Toko Xasa said Dlamini told the family that the blunder by one of their members was because the ANCWL members were "overwhelmed" by the judgement against Paralympian Oscar Pistorius and the massive media appeal.

Dlamini visited the Steenkamp family home in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The court ruled in favour of the State on Thursday, setting aside the 2014 culpable homicide conviction by the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday and ruled instead Pistorius was guilty of murdering Reeva on Valentine's Day in 2013.

SCA Justice Eric Leach said Judge Thokozile Masipa ignored the evidence of Captain Chris Mangena, a police forensic expert, whose evidence as to the reconstruction of the crime scene was found by the court to have been "particularly useful". He said there was "an absence of the appreciation of material evidence".

Xasa said the Steenkamps understood what Nkoane was trying to say from the beginning. She said the ANCWL blamed the media for not correcting Nkoane while she was being interviewed. “We are dealing with a very respectable family.

"Even before we could say anything on the apology, they [the Steenkamps] understood. A person can have a slip of the tongue. When that happens, you can correct that person. How would they just relax and take advantage of that situation. We are fortunate to deal with a humble family who accepted our apology," Xasa told News24.

Xasa said they have also endorsed a project the Steenkamps are undertaking in Port Elizabeth this Wednesday, which is a march in support of the 16 days of activism against abuse of women and children. The march will start in Summerstrand, were Reeva’s remains were scattered in the sea.

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