Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide; victim’s parents not happy
PRETORIA – The parents of Reeva Steenkamp say “justice was not served” after South African athlete Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of murdering their daughter.
June and Barry Steenkamp told NBC News of their “disbelief” that the court had believed Pistorius’s version of events.
Judge Thokozile Masipa found him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, saying the state had failed to prove he intended to kill.
Pistorius has been allowed bail ahead of sentencing on October 13.
Judge Masipa said the athlete had acted “negligently” when he shot his girlfriend through a toilet door, but in the “belief that there was an intruder”.
The Paralympic sprinter had strenuously denied murdering Steenkamp after a row on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.
But in the interview with NBC, June Steenkamp said: “This verdict is not justice for Reeva.
“I just want the truth. He shot through the door and I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident.”
Earlier, Arnold Pistorius, the athlete’s uncle, said the family was “deeply grateful” to the judge for finding him not guilty of murder and that a “big burden” had been lifted.
“There are no victors in this,” he added. “We as a family remain deeply affected by the devastating, tragic event . . . . It won’t bring Reeva back but our hearts still go out for her family and friends.”
South Africa’s prosecuting authority said it was “disappointed” that Pistorius was not convicted of murder but said it would wait until after sentencing to decide whether
Pistorius faces up to 15 years in jail, although the judge could suspend the sentence or only impose a fine.
The athlete was also found guilty on a charge of negligently handling a firearm that went off in a restaurant.
He was acquitted of another charge of firing a gun in public, through the sunroof of a car, and of a charge of illegal possession of ammunition in the home where he killed Steenkamp.