Relatives to rally around Steenkamps
A family member says the last month has been particularly difficult for Barry and June Steenkamp.
PRETORIA - With just days to go until judgment in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, Reeva Steenkamp's relatives have told Eyewitness News they're preparing to rally around her parents in a show of support.
Judge Thokozile Masipa is scheduled to deliver her ruling on Thursday, six months after the trial started in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.
He has argued that it was an accident, after mistaking her for an intruder. But the state believes he killed her in a fit of rage following an argument.
Pistorius also faces three separate charges, including two counts of discharging firearms in public and possession of illegal ammunition, all of which he denies.
Steenkamp's uncle, Mike, told EWN while he hasn't spoken to his brother Barry in a while, he has been asked to join him and June in court this week.
Mike says the last month has been particularly difficult for the couple, because they're growing increasingly anxious to hear the fate of the athlete.
The model's father attended proceedings for the first time to hear closing arguments and Pistorius's father Henke also attended the trial for the first time on that day.
The Blade Runner's uncles and aunts have however attended almost every day of the trial.
Mike says besides being in court, he hopes to support and spend some time with Steenkamp's parents.
The ANC Women's League, which has supported the Steenkamps since the shooting,has confirmed it will picket outside the court on Thursday.
While the model's relatives have indicated they're ready but anxious for the judgment, the athlete's family has chosen to stay out of the media spotlight and declined to comment.
Through the family's spokesperson, Pistorius's uncle Arnold says they don't want to make any comment to the media in the run-up to Thursday's ruling.
According to weekend reports, the athlete appears to be under tremendous stress.
The athlete broke down frequently during the trial, often sobbing and vomiting into a bucket.
Steenkamp's dramatic death has shattered the image of Pistorius as an embodiment of triumph over adversity for both his Paralympic victories and his success against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.