Five years since Reeva’s death women still dy­ing at hands of part­ners

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - LERATO DIALE ler­a­tod@the­newage.co.za

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.

Reeva Steenkamp

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