JOHANNESBURG - Reeva Steenkamp’s family say they’ve placed memorial messages in newspapers in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth today to mark the one-year anniversary of her death.
Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry and extended family will commemorate the day in personal and poignant ways in Port Elizabeth.
Her parents issued a statement earlier this week announcing plans to set up a foundation in her name once the murder trial is finalised.
Her uncle Mike says her relatives in Cape Town will gather this morning to look back and reflect on the past year.
He says they will be releasing helium balloons with messages to Steenkamp tied to them.
Her family will also place pictures of the model around their house and remember the fond times with her.
They’ve also thanked the country and the world for all the support and comfort they have received since Valentine’s Day last year.
Meanwhile, the Pistorius family has asked for privacy today.
The athlete’s uncle Arnold says the family doesn’t want to reveal how they intend marking what he described as the intensely sad anniversary of Steenkamp’s death.
He says the family’s plans are private and has asked the media to respect this.
Meanwhile, the African National Congress Women’s’ League in Gauteng is staging a march in remembrance of Reeva.
The group of about 100 women will deliver a memorandum to a Justice Department official at the Pretoria Magistrates Court.
PISTORIUS BREAKS SILENCE
Overnight, Pistorius released a brief statement on his official website speaking out for the first time since last year’s shooting.
In the statement, Pistorius describes what happened as a ‘devastating accident’, saying he remains consumed with pain and sorrow and will carry the trauma for the rest of his life:
“No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love Reeva.
“The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva’s parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow.
“The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Reaction to the paralympian’s statement has been mixed.
Those who support Pistorius see this as further proof of his torment, while sceptics argue the message is a calculated move by his publicity and legal teams ahead of the trial.
The words ‘devastating accident’ are central to Pistorius's defence.
He is due to go on trial for murder on 3 March.