‘Nothing will bring Reeva back’ – Steenkamps react to Oscar’s new sentence

2017-11-24 13:57
PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images

PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images

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The Steenkamps have always had faith in the justice system, they insist – and that faith was restored today.

This after Oscar Pistorius’s initial murder sentence was doubled by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday.

Through their lawyer Tania Koen, June and Barry Steenkamp confirmed to YOU that they were pleased at the news. Reeva was shot dead by Oscar through the bathroom door of his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013.

But the new, harsher sentence doesn’t quite mean closure for the Steenkamps.

“Nothing is going to bring Reeva back, so we can’t say we’re going forward,” June said.

“But what this means to us is justice for Reeva,” she added. “We feel the loss of her life every day and we mourn the fact that she’s not coming back to us. We no longer have to focus and pour all our attention on court proceedings.”

Judge Thokozile Masipa had earlier sentenced the former Paralympic hero to six years in prison at the Pretoria High Court in July 2016.

The sentence was described by the state as “shockingly lenient” and unsuitable for a charge of murder, when the case came before the SCA in Bloemfontein three weeks ago.

On Friday it was announced that the SCA's decision was a unanimous one – that the NPA should be granted leave to appeal and that Oscar’s sentence be extended to 13 years and five months.

June had also reached out to the family of slain Eastern Cape teacher, Jayde Panayiotou. Jayde’s husband Christopher, and one of his co-accused, Sinethemba Neneme, were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday after a long and drawn-out court battle.

“Jayde’s husband was sentenced to life imprisonment today. We want to reach out to the Inggs family and share with them our happiness that justice has also been carried out for them today,” the Steenkamp’s said.

Judge Legoabe Willie Seriti said on Friday that Oscar must serve the minimum sentence of 15 years for the crime, but the time that he has already served in prison has been taken into account, News24 reported.

Oscar celebrated his 31st birthday behind bars at the Atteridgeville prison outside of Pretoria and didn’t attend court proceedings.

His legal team, under the leadership of Barry Roux, defenced the state’s request on his behalf.

Oscar was hoping to be freed on parole as early as 2019. But now he won’t be eligible for parole until he serves at least two thirds of his new sentence, which he will have done by 2024.

Oscar’s older brother, Carl Pistorius, has since posted the words, “Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted,” on Twitter.


 

 

 

 

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