The mother of the woman Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering has announced she will attend his trial.
June Steenkamp, the mother of Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he is accused of killing, will attend the trial, along with other family members, in order to gain “closure.” This will be the first time anyone in Reeva’s immediate family has attended the runner’s court dates.
Pistorius was charged with murdering Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year. The runner shot the model through his bathroom door, claiming he thought she was an intruder. The “Blade Runner” fired four shots, three of which struck Steenkamp.
Prosecutors believe that Pistorius intended to murder Steenkamp after a loud argument heard by their neighbors. The runner states he loved Steenkamp dearly and the shooting was a tragic misunderstanding.
The Steenkamp family has rarely spoken publicly in recent months. However, with it being near the trial and the anniversary of Reeva’s death, they released a statement.
“As the first anniversary of our beloved daughter’s death approaches, we would like to thank all family, friends, the people of South Africa, and the world for their compassion, kind words and comfort shown to us, and for the many letters of condolences we have received,” Steenkamp’s parents said in a statement. “We understand and empathize with other parents and families who have lost a child or loved one through violence or abuse.”
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Pistorius was the first double-amputee to run in the world championship of the Olympics. The 27-year-old is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted of premeditated murder in Steenkamp’s killing.
South African television channels have applied to air the trial live, offering viewers a chance to watch the entire trial of the national hero, as it happens.
Steenkamp’s family wants to simply keep their daughter’s name alive by creating a foundation in her honor.
Image via Wikimedia Commons