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JOHANNESBURG: The family of Oscar Pistorius’ slain girlfriend wants answers, her mother told a Johannesburg newspaper, as South Africans braced to hear why prosecutors believe a national hero murdered the model who was shot multiple times.
Pistorius, who remains in custody in a red-brick, one-story police station in Pretoria, is set to return to court today for the start of his bail hearing. It will be the first opportunity for the prosecution to describe evidence police gathered against the 26-year-old double-amputee runner and the reasons why he was charged with murder. Prosecutors allege the killing was premeditated.
June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, told The Times in a front page interview published yesterday: “Why? Why my little girl? Why did this happen? Why did he do this?”
“Just like that she is gone,” the newspaper quoted her as saying in what it described as an emotional telephone interview. “In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.”
Pistorius’ family denies he committed murder though they have not addressed whether he shot her. When word first emerged about the killing there was speculation in the local media that Steenkamp had been mistaken for an intruder in Pistorius’ home. Police have said that was not something they were considering.
In an email to The Associated Press yesterday, Pistorius’ longtime track coach — who was yet to comment — said he believes the killing was an accident.
“I pray that we can all, in time, come through this challenging situation following the accident and I am looking forward to the day I can get my boy back on the track,” Ampie Louw wrote in his statement. “I am still in shock following the heart-breaking events that occurred last week and my thoughts and prayers are with both of the families involved.”
Pistorius’ top sponsor, Nike, said in a brief statement to the AP yesterday that it “has no plans for Oscar Pistorius in upcoming campaigns.” They declined to give any further information. AP