Mother of slain Pistorius girlfriend to launch anti-abuse centre
June Steenkamp, whose daughter Reeva was killed by her South African athlete boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, said Tuesday she was launching an anti-abuse organisation in her daughter's memory.
A year after publishing her memoir “Reeva: A Mother’s Story”, Steenkamp said the foundation would be her way of keeping her daughter’s legacy alive.
Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket home outside Pretoria on Valentine’s Day 2013, saying he mistakenly believed she was an intruder.
The 28-year-old athlete is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter after he was found not guilty of murder last year.
The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation will be based in the slain model’s hometown of Port Elizabeth, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, and will assist women and children across the country.
The 29-year-old Reeva, also a law graduate, was a passionate activist against gender-based violence, her mother said.
Steenkamp said preparations for the organisation were now in the “final stages” and had already received funding offers locally and abroad.
“I don’t want to forget Reeva and what she stood for,” she told journalists.
While Pistorius was still on trial, Steenkamp said her daughter was becoming “invisible” by being referred to merely as the “deceased”.
“My daughter died, horrendously,” she said.
The state is set to appeal Pistorius’ conviction and what it called his “shockingly light” sentence.
But his lawyers will be back in court on Friday to challenge the state’s right to do so.
They argue that his conviction was based on facts presented during the trial, not on an interpretation of law, and therefore cannot be appealed.
Steenkamp refused to be drawn on the impending appeal, saying “everything was now in the hands of the law”.
But she added she would like meet Pistorius to ask him to consider what he did to the Steenkamp family by killing their daughter.
“He’s taken her life, her career, she had a law degree. She will never have a granddaughter for us. She will never have a wedding and a white dress.”