'SA must rally behind Steenkamp family'

The Gauteng Premier made the comments outside the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in Pretoria.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane at the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 5 March, 2014. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Wednesday called on women in the province to rally behind the family of slain model Reeva Steenkamp.

She made the comments at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria where Oscar Pistorius is facing murder and gun-related charges.

Oscar Pistorius is escorted into the High Court in Pretoria as his murder trial enters its third day on 5 March 2014. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN.

The so-called Blade Runner pleaded not guilty to all charges in court on Monday.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is accused of murdering Steenkamp at his multimillion rand Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

The state believes it was premeditated murder, but the sportsman maintains it was a case of mistaken identity.

Mokonyane arrived at the Pretoria court wearing a badge bearing Steenkamp's face.

She said she was there to support the Port Elizabeth model's parents.

"Suddenly, everyone has forgotten about the killing of Reeva [Steenkamp]."

Reeva Steenkamp's mother June leaves the Pretoria High Court on 3 March 2014. Picture: EWN.

The premier says Gauteng residents shouldn't treat the family as refugees.

"They [the Steenkamp family] cannot feel like refugees or foreigners in this place [Gauteng]. I call on peace-loving South Africans and women to rally behind the Steenkamp family.

#OscarPistorius Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane was also at the High Court in Pretoria. AG pic.twitter.com/i4PbRUj93H

Mokonyane also raised concerns that witnesses testifying in the trial were not being shown enough sensitivity on the stand.