It has been a dramatic, tearful day in court for South Africa’s most famous athelete Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with the premeditated murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. If found guilty, he faces life imprisonment.
He was remanded in custody until tomorrow, when his bail hearing resumes, although because of the premeditated ruling, bail will be difficult to obtain.
The prosecution dismissed claims Pistorius thought he was neutralising an intruder, pointing to the nine hours his girlfriend had been present, her overnight bag found at the scene and statements from friends of Steenkamp saying she wanted to leave him and was “scared”.
In contrast the judge heard a statement from Sam Greyvenstein, Steenkamp’s best friend, who said the couple “had nothing but love for each other”, and that Steenkamp “would have married Pistorius if he had asked her.”
Steenkamp was cremated at the same time as the hearing. Her Uncle regretted her life had been ended before she could become a campaigner against abuse of women.
“But we’re here today as a family and there is only one thing missing, and that is Reeva. We’ve got together but we miss one. I think I will never get over that,” said Mike Steenkamp.
Steenkamp was allegedly killed after Pistorius fired four shots through his toilet door, locked from the inside.
He says he awoke around 3am and went to close a balcony door, but heard a noise from the toilet. Believing Steenkamp was still in bed and, as he says, with “a sense of terror coming over me” and feeling “vulnerable” he fitted his legs and took his 9mm pistol from under his bed.
He claims after firing he realised Steenkamp was absent, so he then broke through the toilet door with a cricket bat, found her still alive, and took her downstairs in his arms, where she died.