Pistorius and Steenkamp argued frequently in weeks prior to killing, says model’s mother
Conversation with daughter led to admission that all was not well in relationship
Oscar Pistorius leaves court yesterday after his first appearance since being granted bail in February for the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp argued frequently in the weeks before the South African athlete killed his girlfriend, the model’s mother said in an interview aired hours before the Paralympian appeared in court yesterday.
The claim was made by June Steenkamp in a documentary entitled: Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter? which aired on the UK’s Channel 5 on Monday night.
According to Mrs Steenkamp, a conversation with her daughter a week after she had been badly frightened by the Paralympian’s high-speed driving had led to the admission that all was not well in the relationship.
“We chatted about this and that, little girl things. I said, ‘How’s it going with Oscar?’ She said, ‘We’ve been fighting, we’ve been fighting a lot’ . . . She didn’t elaborate about what they’d been fighting about,” said Mrs Steenkamp.
Mrs Steenkamp went on to say she had not been alarmed by her daughter’s confession because all couples argue.
“Men and women do fight, don’t they? . . . but this was very early in a relationship to be fighting,” she conceded.
Mr Pistorius (26), a Paralympic gold medallist, is charged with murder after firing shots through a locked bathroom door, killing Ms Steenkamp (29), at his Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
He denies premeditated murder, saying he mistook his girlfriend for a burglar.
The athlete known as the Blade Runner because of the carbon fibre legs he uses to race returned to Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for the first time in more than three months.
After a brief hearing the magistrate agreed to a prosecution request to postpone the hearing until August 19th.
Last week Sky News published graphic photographs of the toilet cubicle in which Ms Steenkamp was shot, which raised concerns it might adversely affect the case.
Magistrate Daniel Thulare expressed concern at media coverage and warned some of it could be in contempt of court.
Shortly after the hearing was adjourned the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said their investigation would not be prejudiced by publication of the photographs because there was no evidence they were leaked by the police.
“Should there be anything which affects the progress of the case we will deal with it accordingly,” said NPA spokesperson Medupe Simasiku.