Steenkamp family struggles with grief, Pistorius released on bail
Oscar Pistorius spent Saturday at his uncle's home after being released on bail. Pistorius, the double-amputee South African Olympic sprinter, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The Steenkamp family has been beset by grief.
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The victim's relatives also harbor misgivings about efforts by the Olympian's family to reach out to them with condolences.
Pistorius, meanwhile, spent Saturday at his uncle's home in an affluent suburb of Pretoria, the South African capital, after a judge released him on bail following days of testimony that transfixed South Africa and much of the world. He was charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day, but the athlete says he killed her accidentally, opening fire after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.
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"We are extremely thankful that Oscar is now home," his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said in a statement that also acknowledged the law must run its course. "What happened has changed our lives irrevocably."
The Pistorius family took steps to lower its profile on social media after someone hacked into the Twitter account of his older brother, Carl, family spokesman Janine Hills said.
"Carl did not tweet this afternoon, out of respect to Oscar and Reeva," Hills said in a statement. "We are busy cancelling all the social media sites for both Oscar's brother and his sister."
Mike Steenkamp, Reeva's uncle, told The Associated Press that the family of the double-amputee athlete initially did not send condolences or try to contact the bereaved parents, but had since sought to reach out in what he described as a poorly timed way. After Pistorius was released on bail in what amounted to a victory for the defense, Arnold Pistorius said the athlete's family was relieved but also in mourning "with the family" of Reeva Steenkamp.
"Everybody wants to jump up with joy," Mike Steenkamp said, speculating on the mood of Pistorius' family after the judge's decision. "I think it was just done in the wrong context, completely."