Nel to continue with Vergeer questioning

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 15, 2014

State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is expected to continue with his cross-examination of probation officer, Annette Vergeer, on day three of the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court this morning.

Vergeer yesterday told the court that Pistorius had been paying the parents of his slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, R6 000 a month for 18 months as compensation after hear death at his Silver Lakes home on Valentine’s Day last year.

According to the advocate for Barry and June Steenkamp, Dup de Bruyn, the matter was never made public at the request of Pistorius. De Bryun revealed that the Steenkamps had fallen into financial difficulty after their daughter’s death, and had approached the defence to discuss the matter.

He also added that the payments were first made in March last year but seized last month at the behest of the Steenkamps.

“The money was originally paid because at that stage the family was facing severe financial difficulties. They didn’t want money, but they had no choice,” The Times quoted de Bruyn as saying after yesterday’s proceedings. He also added that the family plan on repaying the full amount back to Pistorius

“They didn’t ask for money, Pistorius offered.” On Monday, the athelte’s manager, Peet van Zyl, told the court that Pistorius had been worried about Reeva’s parents and that he had decided to pay the money on his own behalf.

“He went to them out of the kindness of his heart because he is a generous person,” van Zyl said.

“What I can say is there were no other intentions behind these payments other than kindness.”

Vergeer has insisted that Pistorius be placed under correctional supervision for three years as he would not be able to cope with lack with facilities in prison. She also said that Pistorius would be vulnerable to rape and violence, before describing the conditions in prison as unsuitable for a person with the athlete’s disability, a statement that received condemnation from the Department of Correctional Services.