'No hatred', says model's father

Reeva Steenkamp

The father of model Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead at the home of Oscar Pistorius, said “there is no hatred in our hearts” over her death – as the star’s father revealed he may have “acted on instinct”.

Barry Steenkamp sympathised that the sporting hero must be going through a difficult time after his daughter Reeva was shot dead at the Blade Runner’s exclusive Pretoria home last week.

He told the Mail on Sunday the family was struggling to come to terms with the death, but revealed: “There is no hatred in our hearts.”

Mr Steenkamp added: “He must be going through things that we don’t know about.

“We ask the Lord every day to help us find a reason why this should happen to Reeva.

“She was the most beautiful, kind girl in the world.”

Meanwhile, the athlete’s best friend claimed the Olympic and Paralympic hero called him minutes after the shooting telling him “there has been a terrible accident”, according to the Sunday People.

Justin Divaris said: “It’s all very sad. Oscar called me at 3.55am saying that Reeva had been shot.”

He added: “It was very traumatic. By the time we got there it was already a crime scene and we weren’t allowed in the house.”

Pistorius’s father said he has “zero doubt” Miss Steenkamp’s death was a tragic accident and that his son may have acted “on instinct”.

Henke Pistorius said he believes the model was killed after being mistaken for an intruder at his son’s house.

His family is behind him “heart and soul” and will do “whatever needs to be done” to help him clear his name, Mr Pistorius told The Sunday Telegraph.

He said: “When you are a sportsman, you act even more on instinct.

“It’s instinct – things happen and that’s what you do.”

Miss Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius’s home on Thursday – Valentine’s Day.

Pistorius was remanded to a Pretoria police station after a hearing on Friday at which prosecutors said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the athlete.

The Paralympian, who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was met by a media frenzy as he arrived at the packed courthouse on Friday dressed in a sober grey suit and blue tie.

Earlier he had attempted to obscure his identity, covering his face with a jacket and a note pad as he was driven into the precincts.

The track superstar was supported by his father, brother Carl and sister Aimee in court.

His arrest triggered shock across the globe and prompted rumours that he may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine’s Day surprise gone wrong.

But police swiftly distanced themselves from that suggestion and said there had been previous incidents of a “domestic nature” at Pistorius’s property.

His family has already issued a statement in which they vowed to fight the murder charge in the “strongest terms”.

Arnold Pistorius, the athlete’s uncle, reiterated this yesterday, saying: “After consulting with legal representatives we deeply regret the allegation of premeditated murder.

“We have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the state’s own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder or indeed any murder at all.”

Pistorius will appear in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing, something police have said they oppose. Prosecutors also say they will pursue upgraded charges of premeditated murder against him, which means the athletics hero could face a life sentence.

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