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By Marizka Coetzer


Ten roses for Reeva: Steenkamps keep daughter’s memory alive

A relative in Pistorius’ inner circle, who agreed to talk anonymously, said Pistorius should remain behind bars.

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents did the same thing on Tuesday that they have done every year since she was murdered by Oscar Pistorius in 2013 … they went to the beach in Gqeberha where they scattered her ashes and threw 10 roses into the waves – one for every year she has been gone.

Reeva Foundation spokesperson Tania Coen said the parents were joined by a small group of friends to put roses in the sea.

“Each year we added a rose. Today we had 10 roses,” she said.

Coen said Steenkamp’s parents asked people to remember their daughter on the day instead of asking about Pistorius’ parole.

“Their lives don’t evolve around Pistorius. It revolves around Steenkamp and keeping her memory alive,” she said.

Pistorius ‘should remain behind bars’

A relative in Pistorius’ inner circle, who agreed to talk anonymously, said Pistorius should remain behind bars.

“If you commit a crime, you should be in prison for what you did,” she said.

The relative said it was only fair that Pistorius completes his full sentence.

“Nobody in the family is allowed to talk about him. If people ask about Pistorius, they say we don’t talk about it because he is innocent,” the relative said.

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The relative described Pistorius as a nice person who turned aggressive when he consumed alcohol.

“You cannot say anything or do anything without Pistorius taking it up the wrong way.”

The relative said the family still believed it was an accident. Pistorius was sentenced in July 2016 to 13 years and five months’ imprisonment.

Law cannot be held ransom

Law expert Dr Llewelyn Curlewis said it was a fact that Pistorius was eligible for parole.

“The final hurdle is the parole board. To the best of my knowledge, Pistorius has complied with the requirements. He will be released on parole probably in the next four months,” he said.

Curlewis said Steenkamp’s parents’ disapproval of the parole was not a sufficient reason for not granting it.

ALSO READ: ‘Pistorius not yet eligible for parole’ say Reeva’s parents

“The law cannot be held ransom by the views of the victim’s family. The law must take its course,” he said.

Action Society founder Ian Cameron said no punishment could bring the victim back.

“Many offenders get off too soon and I believe an example is being made of Oscar,” he said.

Cameron said he wouldn’t be surprised if Pistorius was released on parole soon.

“The state would try and determine whether he is a risk to society, whether he shows remorse and if he would adhere to parole conditions,” he said.

10 years since Steenkamp’s murder

Criminologist Professor Jaco Barkhuizen said Pistorius’ parole depended on the parole board.

“It was 10 years since the murder of Steenkamp. We need to ask the family whether they are comfortable with the man that killed their daughter being released from prison,” he said.

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“It is up to the parole board to decide to grant him parole or not.”

Barkhuizen said the parole board should consider the feelings of the victim’s family.

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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