Pistorius is found guilty of murder after a South African appeals court overturns his earlier manslaughter verdict. The appeal court says last year’s verdict was “confusing and flawed” and that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions. The athlete will now be re-sentenced by the original court and will almost certainly go back to jail. The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but judges can apply some discretion.
After 11 months, Pistorius is released from Kgosi Mampuru II jail at 8pm by a member of his legal team and taken to correctional services headquarters where he meets his parole officer. After processing he is taken to his uncle’s villa in Pretoria, where he has a private cottage. He will be kept under house arrest. The conditions of his parole are not released.
Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June, say she had packed her bags and was ready to leave Oscar Pistorius the day he shot and killed her. June:
He killed her. He admits he killed her…She is dead after [Pistorius made] sure she was dead. Why didn’t he just let her walk away?
What actually came out in court is not the truth. We know what we heard there is not right…People actually heard the screams and when he realised that had happened he couldn’t stop. He had to carry on until it was finished.
On the upcoming Supreme Court appeal:
It is not finished – not finished I feel by a long way – and I can only give you my feelings after the final verdict. If the outcome is going to be a longer sentence, are we going to feel better? I don’t know. All we want is the truth to come out in the real justice side of the whole scenario
Pistorius has tried to contact them but they are not ready to talk to him. June:
All I want you to realise is that you have ruined our lives. You’ve taken her life, her possible marriage, or having a baby – our grandchild. You’ve taken her career away… You’ve taken the most precious thing out of our lives.
June Steenkamp tells Outlook on the BBC World Service that she thinks Pistorius terrorized her daughter. (Program link here). She says Pistoirus’s apology ‘meant nothing,’ and she ignored it. The family were worried when Reeva Steenkamp moved to Johannesburg from Port Elizabeth as the capital is considered much more dangerous, and she says Pistorius tried to control Reeva and make her into ‘arm candy’. The family also were evicted from their house after media revealed they had no money, and this is why they took payments from Pistorius including during the trial. She says she will set up the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation for Abused Women:
We’re going to build shelters for women, and they’ll be taken care of, and be taught to support themselves with different ways and means, so they can live a life without the abuser, and support themselves without having to depend on someone who’s beating you up every night.
Reeva would have loved to do that. And I will do it for her.
June Steenkamp says she believes that Reeva was planning to leave Pistorius the night she was shot. She says Reeva had confided that she had not had sex with Pistorius:
She wouldn’t want to sleep with Oscar if she wasn’t sure. I believe their relationship was coming to an end. In her heart of hearts, she didn’t think it was making either of them happy…Her clothes were packed. There is no doubt in our minds: she had decided to leave Oscar that night.
She says a fight may have occurred:
There is no doubt in our minds that something went horribly wrong, something upset her so terribly that she hid behind a locked door with two mobile phones.
Pistorius is charged with murder after Steenkamp is found dead at his residence, in a gated housing compound east of Pretoria. A 9mm handgun registered to Pistorius is found at the scene, and there are no other suspects. Henke Pistorius:
Obviously we are shocked. He is with the police and the matter is in the hands of the authorities. Our thoughts are with the family of the woman involved in this tragedy.