June Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp, has bemoaned the release of Oscar Pistorius after nine years of imprisonment, saying that her family will bear the scars caused by her murder long after the disgraced South African Paralympic gold medalist has been freed.
The double amputee was convicted of murdering Steenkamp after he shot her multiple times through a locked toilet door with a 9mm pistol on Valentine’s Day at their Pretoria home in 2013.
Speaking after the release of Pistorius, Steenkamp questioned whether the family had received justice and closure for her killing.
“Has there been justice for Reeva? Has Oscar served enough time? There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.
“We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence,” she said.
Steenkamp said she and her late husband, Barry, had found it hard to come to terms with the way their daughter had been taken from them.
“Now, almost 11 years later, the pain is still raw and real. And my dear late husband Barry and I have never been able to come to terms with Reeva’s death, or the way she died.
“Through the years Barry and I were encouraged by the love and messages of support from both friends and strangers. I wish I could thank each one personally for carrying Barry and I through these difficult years,” she said.
Steenkamp also bemoaned the media scrutiny that had followed the death of their daughter.
“Whilst we remain grateful to the media, the intensity of the coverage of Oscar’s trial, imprisonment and parole has been a double-edged sword.
“The media interest meant the loss of our privacy and made it difficult to mourn in peace. Sadly, reports were often accompanied by verbal and emotional abuse by some members of the public.
“[This was] not only towards us, but also towards our deceased daughter. It is my sincere wish, and it was Barry’s too, that people will take a moment to consider the impact of their hurtful comments.
“We did not choose this. We would much rather have our loving daughter alive, and laughing, with us,” said Steenkamp.