Her father says Oscar Pistorius must pay
His voice breaking with emotion, the father of Reeva Steenkamp testified in a South African court yesterday that her fatal shooting by boyfriend Oscar Pistorius “devastated” his family and that he thinks of her constantly, even trying to imagine the horrific moment of her death.
“Oscar has to pay for what he did,” said Barry Steenkamp, adding that he would like to talk to the former track star in private at a later stage.
Steenkamp spoke at the sentencing hearing for Pistorius, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in his home in 2013 in a case that transfixed many around the world, partly because of the dramatic fall of a onceacclaimed athlete and the shocking nature of his crime.
Pistorius is currently under house arrest after initially serving one year of a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter for shooting Reeva Steenkamp. But that conviction was overturned last year, which convicted Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder.
Judge Thokozile Masipa, who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder, will decide the new sentence. The hearing is scheduled to run until Friday. South Africa has a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for murder, although a judge can reduce that in some circumstances.
Barry Steenkamp gave testimony about the wrenching, personal grief of a distraught father who lost a daughter in a fatal shooting.
“She must have been in so much fear, pain,” said Steenkamp. “That is what I think of all the time.”
Under questioning from chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Steenkamp urged Judge Masipa to allow the public to see the graphic photos of his daughter’s wounds that were entered as evidence during Pistorius’ trial but not allowed to be shown to a wider audience
Barry Steenkamp also spoke of the grief suffered by his wife, June. “I hear her at night. I hear her crying. I hear her talking to Reeva. It devastated us,” he said.