13 Sep 2014

Family protest at Pistorius verdict

12:02 pm on 13 September 2014

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp say "justice was not served" after South African athlete Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of murdering their daughter.

June Steenkamp

June Steenkamp (left), mother of Reeva Steenkamp, holds her cousin Kim Martin as the judgment is handed down to Oscar Pistorius. Photo: AFP

June and Barry Steenkamp told NBC News of their "disbelief" that the court had believed Pistorius's version of events, the BBC reported.

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."

She said she did not agree with the judge's decision.

"I really don't care what happens to Oscar, it's not going to change anything because my daughter's never coming back.

"He's still living and breathing, and she's gone forever, I just don't feel that this is the right sentence.

"They believe his story, and I don't believe that story."

Mr Steenkamp struggled for words after the verdict was delivered.

"It's easy for other people to look in, and see and listen, and have their thoughts, but only once they've gone through it will they know what we feel."

A friend of Ms Steenkamp, Hagen Engler also criticised the verdict.

"It is unfair, but it doesn't surprise me, in fact was pretty much what I expected from the outset, because he can afford the best possible defence and invest in private investigators to support his case."

Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, saying the state had failed to prove he intended to kill.

He has been allowed bail ahead of sentencing on 13 October.

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius cries in the dock during the verdict in his murder trial, Pretoria, South Africa, on September 11, 2014.

Oscar Pistorius cries in the dock as the judge read out her verdict on 11 September 2014. Photo: AFP

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 Ms Steenkamp after a row on Valentine's Day last year, saying he shot her by mistake.

South Africa's prosecuting authority said it would wait until Pistorius is sentenced before deciding whether to appeal against his conviction.

He will be sentenced in a month's time.

Double amputee South African Oscar Pistorius (L) competes with his carbon fibre blades next to British Thomas Iwan during his 400 metres race at the Athletics Meeting on July 16, 2008 in Lucerne.

Oscar Pistorius competes with his carbon fibre blades next to British Thomas Iwan in Lucerne in 2008. Photo: AFP

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the Feather Awards in Johannesburg in November 2012. Photo: AFP

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