There were jubilant scenes in Pretoria earlier today as Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared Reeva Steenkamp of being deliberately shot to death by her partner.
“It’s just such a relief that she wasn’t guilty of being murdered,” said Steenkamp’s mother. “Now we can begin to rebuild her reputation after all the damage that’s been done. We can stop thinking of her as a high-profile murder victim and start thinking of her as just another woman who got shot to death by a man for some reason.”
Judge Masipa criticised Steenkamp as an ‘evasive witness’ who was unable to provide clear evidence to indicate the motivations of her boyfriend when he shot her 4 times through a bathroom door. In fact, Steenkamp had no voice in the trial at all, and relied on her boyfriend to provide details of what happened that night.
However, despite this failure, she emphasised that this did not mean that Steenkamp was guilty of being a murder victim. “Steenkamp could not have foreseen that she would be killed by a man she loved in the house they shared together,” said Masipa. “I therefore cannot return a verdict of guilty of being murdered.”
Steenkamp may be yet found guilty of being a victim of culpable homicide by accidentally jumping into bullets. The case continues.