Pretoria: Reeva Steenkamp’s father broke down at the High Court here court yesterday as he told a dramatic sentencing hearing that Oscar Pistorius must “pay for his crime” of murdering his daughter three years ago.
Late Reeva Steenkamp’s father Barry gives evidence against Oscar Pistorius in the Pretoria High Court yesterday. pic/AP/PTI
It was the first time that 73-year-old Barry Steenkamp testified in court and directly addressed Pistorius.
The Paralympic athlete killed Reeva Steenkamp (29) in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
In March, Pistorius’ lawyers lost an appeal judgement that upgraded his original conviction from culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter — to murder. “It has been very difficult for me to forgive... I feel that Oscar has to pay for what he did.
He has to pay for his crime,” Barry Steenkamp said, tears streaming down his face. Steenkamp said that his wife June had tried to forgive Pistorius to help her cope with the loss of her daughter. “June grieves like I do, all the time. I hear her at night, crying. I hear her talking to Reeva.
He must pay for that, although June has forgiven him.” Pistorius held his head in his hands, sobbing during the testimony.