As the world awakens to the frenzy around Valentine’s Day, celebrated by those whose hearts cupid has stolen, many also wake up to memories of a loved one whose life was taken exactly a year ago today. Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed by her athlete lover, Oscar Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner.
Subsequent to the murder, which took place at the athlete’s Silver Woods estate, East of Pretoria, Pistorius was arrested and spent the night of February 14, 2013, in an undisclosed police station in Pretoria. Released into the custody of his family a day after, he was set to experience events that turned his life upside down.
His first court appearance was on February 15, 2013, where the court was expected to charge him under the Schedule 6 category of charges, the most serious category.
From the first day of court appearances, the media frenzy never stopped, with Pistorius making headlines, more than his renowned late model girlfriend, Steenkamp.
In his version of events, Pistorius has said he mistook his girlfriend for a burglar, hearing noises in the house and as a result, he fired shots through the bathroom door, leading to Reeva’s passing. It is understood that the firearm used to murder Reeva, was illegally possessed by Pistorius.
On the flip-side, Steenkamp’s family continuously had to be reminded of their loss, this as the court proceedings dragged on
After news of Steenkamp’s shooting emerged, Nike, one of Pistorius’ five major sponsors at the time, pulled an advert in which Pistorius featured under the tagline “I am the bullet in the chamber.” Nike later pulled its sponsorship of Pistorius, who has appeared in a number of commercials for the company since 2008.
In his court appearances, during his bid to secure bail, Pistorius’ court proceedings featured startling revelations and developments on almost every occasion. First the media was barred from attending proceedings, with the court declaring that the media didn’t have permission to do so. At a later stage, investigating officer, Hilton Botha, had to step down from the case after it was revealed that Botha faces seven charges of attempted murder.
Then, the National Prosecuting Authority said two additional counts, relating to contraventions of some of the Firearms Controls Act, were added to Pistorius’ charge sheet. It was later reported that Pistorius’ family owns a total of 55 firearms, belonging specifically to his father, three uncles and grandfather.
Reeva was cremated and laid to rest at her hometown in Port Elizabeth. Her family further refused to comment after the court lifted Oscar’s bail conditions.
On the flip-side, Steenkamp’s family continuously had to be reminded of their loss, this as the court proceedings dragged on. The news of Reeva’s passing hit them hard, they didn’t even show up, not once, at Pistorius’ bail hearings.