THE father of the woman allegedly murdered by Oscar Pistorius has said that the disabled athlete will have to “live with his conscience” if he was lying about her death.
Yesterday, the Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper quoted Reeva Steenkamp’s father Barry as saying Pistorius would “suffer” alone if his assertion that he accidentally shot his 29-year-old model girlfriend proved to be false.
Steenkamp said that he might be able to forgive Pistorius one day if the double-amputee Olympian were found to be telling the truth.
Pistorius was released on bail on Friday. He is charged with murdering his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.
Yesterday, the man nicknamed the “Blade Runner” due to his use of carbon-fibre prosthetics, spent his first day out of custody since he was arrested a week ago. The athlete, who wept as chief magistrate Desmond Nair announced his decision in a Pretoria court, was later seen arriving at his uncle Arnold’s home.
Pistorius, 26, claims he shot Steenkamp through a bathroom door thinking she was an intruder. Prosecutors claim he intended to kill her, and he has been charged with premeditated murder.
After nearly two hours setting out the reasons for his decision, Nair told the packed courtroom that he was granting bail until the next hearing on 4 June. He said there was no suggestion Pistorius was a “flight risk”, or that he had a propensity for violence, and there was no evidence that he might attempt to interfere with witnesses.
He said the Olympian had “reached out” in an affidavit describing what happened on the night of Steenkamp’s death, telling the court: “I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.”
Bail was fixed at one million rand (£73,822), including 100,000 rand (£7,382) in cash.
Pistorius must surrender any firearms and his passport, cannot enter any international departure hall, and is banned from using any prohibited substance or alcohol. He must also report to police twice a week.
Speaking on behalf of his family, the athlete’s uncle said: “We are relieved that Oscar got bail. But at the same time we are in mourning for the death of Reeva with her family. We are also grateful for the magistrate for coming to the conclusion and for our legal team that has delivered extremely professional and legal statements that led to the decision of giving bail.
“As the family, we know Oscar’s version of what happened that tragic night and we know that that is the truth and that will prevail in the coming court case.”
Pistorius left the courthouse in a vehicle with blacked-out windows, accompanied by his sister Aimee. Earlier, his coach, Ampie Louw, who described the athlete as “heartbroken”, said he might resume training but would not compete.
In his affidavit, Pistorius described waking up in the early hours of 14 February and going on to his balcony to bring in a fan and close the sliding doors.
He said he heard a noise in the bathroom and was overcome by a sense of “terror”, thinking someone had broken in to his apartment.