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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A South African newspaper, the Afrikaans-language Beeld, quoted the mother of Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, law school graduate and participant in a television reality show, as saying the family had received a bouquet of flowers and a card from the Pistorius family.Skip to next paragraph
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"Yes, but what does it mean? Nothing," June Steenkamp said, according to the Saturday edition of Beeld. She also said Pistorius' family, including sister Aimee, a somber presence on the bench behind the Olympian during his court hearings in the past week, must be "devastated" and had done nothing wrong.
"They are not to blame," June Steenkamp said. According to Beeld, she said she had hoped to plan a wedding for her daughter one day.
In an affidavit, 26-year-old Oscar Pistorius said he was "absolutely mortified" by the death of "my beloved Reeva," and he frequently sobbed in court during the several days during which his bail application was considered. However, prosecutor Gerrie Nel, suggested in a scathing criticism that Pistorius was actually distraught because his vaunted career was now in peril and he was in grave trouble with the law.
"It doesn't matter how much money he has and how good his legal team is, he will have to live with his conscience if he allows his legal team to lie for him," Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, told Beeld.
"But if he is telling the truth, then perhaps I can forgive him one day," the father said. "If it didn't happen the way he said it did, he must suffer, and he will suffer ... only he knows."
Barry Steenkamp suffered "heavy trauma" at the loss of his daughter and his remarks to the newspaper partly reflect how he is working through it, said his brother, Mike Steenkamp.
Steenkamp was cremated in a funeral ceremony on Feb. 19 in her family's hometown of Port Elizabeth on South Africa's southern coast. Mike Steenkamp delivered a statement about the family's grief to television cameras, at one point breaking down in tears.
The three-story house where Pistorius is staying with his aunt and uncle lies on a hill with a view of Pretoria. It has a large swimming pool and an immaculate garden.
Pistorius was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect and had his legs amputated at 11 months. He has run on carbon-fiber blades and was originally banned from competing against able-bodied peers because many argued that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. He was later cleared to compete. He is a multiple Paralympic medalist, but he failed to win a medal at the London Olympics, where he ran in the 400 meter race and on South Africa's 4x400 relay team.
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