‘There can never be justice’ – June Steenkamp

Henry

“Was there justice for Reeva? Has Oscar been behind bars long enough?”

So says June Steenkamp, ​​mother of the murdered Reeva, after Oscar Pistorius was released on parole on Friday morning after more than seven years behind bars.

“There can never be justice if a loved one cannot come back…

“No sentence served can bring Reeva back.

“We who are left behind are those who are serving life sentences,” reads the statement that Steenkamp issued this morning on behalf of her and her husband, the late Barry.

RNews earlier reported that Pistorius is home after serving more than half of his sentence in Atteridgeville prison outside Pretoria.

However, according to Steenkamp, ​​the date Reeva was killed, 14 February 2013, will always be remembered “as the day life changed forever. The day South Africa lost its hero and the day Barry and I’s precious daughter was taken from our lives.”

Steenkamp says she and Barry could never find peace about their daughter’s death, nor about “the way she died”.

“Now, almost 11 years later, the pain is still so raw and so real.”

She says her and Barry’s daily conversations were always filled with sadness for parents and families of victims whose perpetrators did not pay.

“Our thoughts were with them because they were deprived of any form of closure and the names of their loved ones were never recognized or honored.”

Steenkamp says that the great media interest in the case – compared to that of other victims – sometimes made them feel guilty to some extent, but the trauma of continuously reliving and recounting the events was also a difficult cross to bear.

“Although we remain grateful to the media, the intensity of the coverage of Oscar’s trial, imprisonment and parole was a double-edged sword.

“The media interest meant the loss of our privacy and made it difficult to mourn in peace.”

Steenkamp says reports were also often accompanied by verbal and emotional attacks by some people, “not only towards us, but also towards our late daughter.

“It is my sincere wish, and it was also Barry’s, that people would take a moment to consider the impact of their hurtful comments.

“We did not choose this (path). We would much rather have our loving daughter alive and laughing with us.”

Steenkamp says they have always been well aware that parole is part of the South African legal system.

“And we have always said that the law must take its course.

“The conditions imposed by the parole board – which include anger management therapy sessions and programs on gender-based violence – send a clear message that gender-based violence is taken seriously.”

Steenkamp says her only desire after Pistorius’s release is to be allowed to “live out her last years in peace” while she concentrates on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation and continuing Reeva’s legacy.

Steenkamp thanked those who supported her over the years, as well as the media and all the friends who stood by her and Barry.

“Barry and I have been encouraged over the years by the love and messages of support from friends and strangers alike. I wish I could personally thank everyone who has supported me and Barry through these difficult years.”

Steenkamp also expressed special thanks to adv. Gerrie Nel, who led the state’s case at the time, adv. Andrea Johnson, also a public prosecutor, Adv. Dup de Bruin, the Steenkamp couple’s legal representative, the investigative team, adv. Annade-Theart Hofmeyer, also a legal representative, her daughter Simone, as well as lawyer Tania Koen who “guided and protected” her and Barry “throughout the years”.