Breaking News Emails
PRETORIA, South Africa - Oscar Pistorius “needs to pay for what he has done,” Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin said Thursday at a court hearing to decide the athlete's sentence for killing the model. “My family are not people who are seeking revenge, we just feel … taking somebody's life, to shoot somebody behind the door that is unarmed, that is harmless needs sufficient punishment,” Kim Martin told the court. “I'm very fearful of the accused, I have tried very hard to put him out of my mind...because I didn't want to spend any energy thinking about him,” she said.
After giving her testimony, Martin thanked Twitter users for their messages of support, adding: "Reeva really was with me. Let's keep her voice alive."
The week-long hearing will decide whether Pistorius will go to jail for culpable homicide — similar to manslaughter — for killing Steenkamp when he shot her through a bathroom door at his home. The double-amputee Olympic sprinter told his trial he mistook her for an intruder.
If Pistorius was given a prison sentence it would be served in the hospital wing of the jail, South Africa’s acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Zac Modise, told the court. However, Modise denied Pistorius’ disability would make a prison sentence unsuitable. "We have modified entrances; we have put in ramps in our entrances; we have put up rails in our showers and also in our baths,” he said. Modise added that he was unaware of newspaper reports in which a notorious gang leader warned Pistorius would be “taken out” by fellow prisoners.
- The Pistorius Saga: From Hero to Villain
- Reeva's Parents: We'll Give Pistorius His 'Blood Money' Back
- Oscar Pistorius Is 'Broken Man' Since Killing Girlfriend: Witness