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Barry Steenkamp finds it difficult to forgive Reeva’s killer

Reeva's father was called as the State’s 1st witness at sentencing proceedings for Oscar Pistorius.

FILE: June and Barry Steenkamp in the High Court in Pretoria on 13 June 2016. Picture: Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry has told the High Court in Pretoria that he is not ready to talk to his daughter's murderer, but will do so, sometime in the future.

Steenkamp was called as the State's first witness in aggravation of sentence in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial.

He gave an emotional account of how Reeva's death has had a devastating effect on the family, insisting that Pistorius must pay for what he did.

Steenkamp could not hold back his tears when he described how he found out that Reeva had been killed.

He says it has been difficult to forgive the former athlete and he is not quite ready to talk to him, despite several attempts from Pistorius.

"But most probably the time will come, when I want to talk to Oscar in private. Not now, at a later stage."

Reeva's father also admitted he didn't know that she was in a relationship at the time.

"I don't think it was the time was right for her to tell me, otherwise she would have told me. But I didn't know that there was a relationship."

He says despite the media often referring to his wife June as being stone-faced and without any feeling, she often cries and mourns for Reeva in the same way he does.

WATCH: Barry Steenkamp: Oscar must pay.

DEFENCE SEEKS TO DOWNPLAY 'VIOLENT & DIFFICULT PRISONER' CLAIMS

Pistorius's defence team has sought to downplay the State's evidence that he was a violent and difficult prisoner during his year of incarceration.

A senior nurse at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre testified in aggravation of sentence yesterday.

Sister Charlotte Mashabane described three incidents in which Pistorius was verbally abusive, but advocate Barry Roux suggested these were isolated incidents.

He also suggested the disagreements were minor.

PISTORIUS'S PRIVATE DOCTOR

The court has also heard that the convicted murderer did not disclose to prison authorities that his private doctor was a family member.

This emerged during sentencing proceedings when Mashabane testified.

Mashabane says the former athlete requested that Eunice van Wyk be his private doctor in prison, but she was still doing community service at Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

"I was puzzled because, understanding the policy and procedure of that private form, once you are working at a government [facility] you can't be allowed to practice."

Mashabane says both the prison and the hospital gave van Wyk permission to treat Pistorius, but her identity was not fully disclosed.

When asked if she was told how the prisoner in question knew the doctor and whether it was disclosed to her that van Wyk was his cousin, Mashabane replied "no".

Proceedings are expected to conclude today.

WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN OSCAR AND REEVA?

On Valentine's Day, 14 February 2013, Reeva was shot dead in Pistorius's home.

He claimed he thought she was an intruder when he fired four shots into a bathroom door.

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

A year later, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and handed a sentence of five years in prison by Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) convicted Pistorius of murder following an appeal by the NPA.

Now, after spending less than a year behind bars, and the rest of the time under house arrest, Pistorius, now convicted of murder, must be sentenced again.

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