Three years since model Reeva Steenkamp was killed in an shooting incident by her paralympian boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, her mother June believes good work will come out of her departure.
Speaking from her Port Elizabeth home where the family commemorated the day, she says they will never get used to living without their daughter.
“We went down to the beach to greet our daughter and to say to her that we love and miss her, and said a prayer for her that she is resting in peace. It feels just as painful and we are just as heart sore. I don’t think it is ever going to go away. But I have decided to go forward with work against the abuse of women and children, and stand up for women and get respect for us. I feel better, I am more passionate about what I am doing because I am focused on that. A least something good will come out of this tragedy.”
She says the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation against the abuse of women and children, is now a legal entity.
Steenkamp also says money is now needed to establish places of safety. “But let us move on with the Foundation raising money. In March, I am going to America, and next week I am going to Ireland. And it is going to be for the woman of Africa too. All over the world there is somebody doing it now. And they all need help.”
Meanwhile, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has called for a harsh sentence against Pistorius for murdering Reeva in 2013.
Pistorius was initially found guilty of culpable homicide, and served 10 months in jail before his conviction was overturned to murder. He is expected to be sentenced in April.
ANCWL spokesperson Thokozile Xasa says,”The dragging of cases of this nature continues to be a pain for families; we would wish those cases can be speeded up. But we are looking forward to the sentencing in April because each and every perpetrator must find his day and serve his sentence. We are looking forward to a heavy sentence. We want heavier sentences of perpetrators of violence.”
The League has called on women to support each other and to report violence against them.
Xasa says, “We have seen some progress in terms of dealing with issues of violence against women and children, and the focus and support by women for us has been great… to demonstrate that with support from community; and also it brings pressure on the justice system – so for us today as we remember, we know the scar will remain forever with the family, we are with the family but also feel that that case is one case for us that continues to bring hope to women all over who continue to be abused.”
Interest in the incident remains intense. A documentary on the crime and subsequent trial is in the works. Shooting will begin in March and the film is expected to be released early next year.ScreenDaily reports the documentary “Oscar Pistorius: Killing A Dream” will be produced by Western Edge Pictures.
Pistorius will be back in court in April to be sentenced if the Constitutional Court rules in favour of a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that he was guilty of murder.