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Wed Jul 30 17:10:00 SAST 2014

Oscar, Reeva's friends 'dumb-founded' at shooting

Sapa | 15 February, 2013 08:19
South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius (R) smiles with his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg November 4, 2012. Pistorius a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on February 14, 2013 with shooting dead Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria. Picture taken November 4, 2012.
Image by: STRINGER / Reuters

A friend of paralympian Oscar Pistorius and his slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Friday said those in their social circle were "dumb-founded" at the news of her shooting death at his house.

"I've known Oscar for many years and I knew Reeva for a long time as well, not very well, I just worked with her on a few occasions... as a model a few times," actress Vanessa Haywood told SAfm in an interview.

"I'm obviously absolutely shocked; completely shocked and speechless. It's very difficult to form an opinion.

"I've only ever known Oscar to be an incredibly kind and gentle and friendly soul. My condolences go out to Reeva's family."

Haywood said she had never seen an "aggressive or violent side" to Pistorius.

"I honestly don't know what to think or say... It's just absolutely dumb-founding. I cannot believe it."

Asked what their other friends were saying, she replied: "Pretty much the same thing. Within the sporting, film and model industry it's actually quite a tight-knit community. We all know one another.

"Everybody has been saying pretty much the same thing -- that Reeva was an amazing woman, sweet and kind, as was Oscar.

"The relationship as far as everybody knew was fine, you know, they were happy... everything was fine. Amongst our friends, everybody is unbelievably shocked."

Asked if she knew about his love for guns, as reported on in international and local media, Haywood said: "I knew that about him. I think it was more of a hobby than anything else... he had a gun for protection as well. I mean, South Africa isn't the safest place in the world.

"But I didn't know he slept with a gun next to his bed."

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Wed Jul 30 17:10:00 SAST 2014 ::