Five years since Reeva’s death women still dying at hands of partners
FIVE years since the death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of her boyfriend, former paralympian Oscar Pistorius, women across the country continue to die at the hands of their partners.
While South Africans celebrated Valentine’s Day with their loved ones yesterday, for the Steenkamps the day will forever mark the day they lost their only daughter.
Steenkamp was shot and killed by Pistorius through a bathroom door at his Silverwoods Country Estate home on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pistorius was initially found guilty of culpable homicide in 2014 but the conviction was later overturned to murder which saw him sentenced to six years in jail.
Throughout the trial, he insisted that he mistook Reeva for an intruder. His jail sentence was subsequently increased from six years to 13 years and five months by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
While many were celebrating love, others took a moment to remember Reeva. Her mother was also quoted by Australian media detailing her pain and loss yesterday.
“A day of romantic froth for others will always be a dark day with pain and suffering,” June Steenkamp said.
The news of the death of Reeva hogged international news headlines for many years both at home and internationally.
South Africa is among the countries with a high rate of gender based and intimate partner violence.
A 2016 report released by experts at the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch said a woman died every eight hours while 50% of those killed were killed by their intimate partners.
Some of the high profile cases have in recent months caused national outrage with various activist organisation calling for the prioritising of cases and amendment of certain laws.