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Sun Sep 25 05:43:04 SAST 2016

We just want the truth: June

Graeme Hosken | 27 October, 2014 00:10
"All that we want, as a family, is the truth. The National Prosecuting Authority will do what it has to do," she said. File photo
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

June Steenkamp says all her family wants is to know is the truth about her daughter Reeva's death.

She was speaking as speculation mounts that the state will appeal the Oscar Pistorius judgment.

Steenkamp told The Times yesterday: "If the state must appeal, then that is what it must do. We have no say.

"All that we want, as a family, is the truth. The National Prosecuting Authority will do what it has to do," she said.

Steenkamp was responding to questions about whether the family would support an appeal if the state decided to challenge either the culpable homicide conviction or the five-year prison term to which Pistorius was sentenced.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has already consulted Wits law professor James Grant about the chances of a successful appeal against Judge Thokozile Masipa's ruling.

"We have no way of stopping the prosecutors," said Steenkamp. "Why would we? It's not our job and we would never dictate their job to them.

"All we have ever said is that we want to know the truth. We owe it to Reeva."

A source close to the state said no decision had been taken about an appeal.

"Discussions have been held but there has been no decision yet. The focus was on winning the case, securing a verdict and a sentence of imprisonment, be it 10, five or three years. That focus has not shifted. There is a week left [in which to appeal]."

Steenkamp could not be drawn into commenting on her memoir Reeva: A Mother's Story, or about the state of her daughter's relationship with Pistorius. Excerpts from the memoir were published in the Sunday Times.

She was quoted as saying that Reeva had decided "to leave Oscar that night".

She said it was "Reeva's bad luck that she met him because sooner or later he would have killed someone. I do believe that".

"She [Reeva] had confided to me that she hadn't slept with him. They'd shared a bed but she was scared to take the relationship to that level."

But Barry Bateman, an Eye Witness News journalist, yesterday posted a picture on Twitter of a Whatsapp message from Pistorius to Reeva dated January 12 2013.

The message appears to have been among the court's exhibits but was not read out during the trial.

In it, Pistorius wrote: "I felt so close to you last night when we made love and sometimes I just feel venerable [sic] as I'm still learning to read you when you tired and sick."

He also wrote that he did not "want a mediocre relationship" and thought they had "a beautiful connection".

Anneliese Burgess, spokesman for the Pistorius family, said yesterday that the athlete's uncle, Arnold, was unwilling to comment on a newspaper report in which it was said that the athlete' s R17.5-million legal bill was causing a rift in the family.

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