Kim Martin: Oscar Pistorius must pay for his crimes

Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin took the stand briefly this morning to testify in aggravation of sentence.

Oscar Pistorius arrives in the Pretoria High Court for his sentencing on 16 October 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA - Reeva Steenkamp's cousin, Kim Martin, has told the High Court in Pretoria that Oscar Pistorius must pay for taking the model's life.

Martin took the stand briefly this morning, to testify for the prosecution in aggravation of sentence.

Last month Paralympian Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, for shooting Steenkamp through the bathroom door of his luxury Silverwoods Country Estate home on Valentine's Day last year.

Martin says her family is not seeking revenge but feels that the athlete was not sincere in his apology and she's fearful of him.

"I am very fearful of the accused. I have tried very hard to put him out of my mind.

We've even made a point of not mentioning his name in our house because I didn't want to spend any energy thinking about him."

She says Pistorius needs to pay for his crime, to send a message to society.

"I can say honestly to the court that I feel Mr. Pistorius needs to pay for what he's done, for taking Reeva's life, for what he's done to my uncle and to my aunt, for what he's done to the rest of my family but also for what he's done to his family."

Martin says she wouldn't want anyone to experience inhumane conditions but believes there are prisons that would be able to cater for Pistorius and rehabilitate him.

Meanwhile, defence advocate Barry Roux says Pistorius wrote a number of letters to the Steenkamp family but was told by their lawyer not to send them.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

The blade runner is still desperately wanting to meet them in private and apologise.

Moleko Modise from the Correctional Services Department is now testifying about prisons in South Africa and whether or not they can cater for disabled people.

The prosecution is dealing with concerns that there are no adequate facilities in prison for disabled inmates and that Pistorius will not be safe if he is jailed.

But Modise, who is the acting National Commissioner for Correctional Services, says prisons are well equipped to deal with disabled prisoners.

"At our institutions, especially because of the fact that we have been admitting people with disabilities for a long time now, we have modified entrances to our facilities, we have put up ramps."

The state is pushing for jail time.

The acting National Commissioner for Correctional Services has gone into great detail about the facilities available at South African prisons, particularly the Pretoria Central Prison.

He says there are rails in bathrooms, near the toilets, showers and baths for disabled people.

Modise says there is also a gym and sporting activities like athletics.

Inmates can also do carpentry, steelwork, till the land and cook.

There are also psychological services available and they cater for the spiritual needs of an inmate.

But Roux has brought up a newspaper article highlighting an increase of torture cases inside prison.

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