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  • Pistorius lawyers trying to negotiate out-of-court settlement for Reeva Steenkamp civil case: report




    Oscar Pistorius's lawyers are trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the parents of his dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, The Times reported on Tuesday.

    Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwage confirmed that they were in discussions with the Steenkamp family.

    "You will understand this is a very sensitive situation," he was quoted as saying.

    Steenkamp and her half-brother Adam reportedly helped their pensioner parents Barry and June financially, including with the rent on their home.

    Her parents have lodged a multimullion-rand civil claim against Pistorius for loss of income and emotional distress.

    Pistorius's lawyers want to settle the lawsuit before the outcome of the criminal trial.

    Advocate Petrus "Dup" de Bruyn, for the Steenkamps, said "nothing has been decided on yet".

    Steenkamp's mother, June, declined to comment on the civil suit.

    "This is just too much... we are grieving... missing our baby... our beautiful, beautiful daughter who should have been celebrating her birthday today [Monday]," June Steenkamp said.

    Pistorius appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday for shooting Steenkamp on February 14 in his Pretoria home. His trial for alleged murder was set for March 3 2014.
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. rpm's Avatar
      rpm -
      Oscar Pistorius's lawyers are trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the parents of his dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, The Times reported on Tuesday.

      Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwage confirmed that they were in discussions with the Steenkamp family.
    1. blunomore's Avatar
      blunomore -
      Similar to the Bees Roux pay-off.

      It has been well reported that Reeva supported her parents financially, so money is definitely a big factor here.
    1. nfbs's Avatar
      nfbs -
      Civil case the burden of proof is balance of probability that he was negligent and he is definitively guilty of that so it's understandable he will settle.
    1. Fudzy's Avatar
      Fudzy -
      Is it up to Reeva's parents to decide whether he's guilty of murder or not?
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      This will only affect any civil claim that they may have against him. So, it wont affect the criminal trial (I would think).
    1. ShaunSA's Avatar
      ShaunSA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fudzy View Post
      Is it up to Reeva's parents to decide whether he's guilty of murder or not?
      Huh?
    1. YingYang's Avatar
      YingYang -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      This will only affect any civil claim that they may have against him. So, it wont affect the criminal trial (I would think).
      This is how I see it as well. The civil and criminal cases have no impact on each other
    1. blunomore's Avatar
      blunomore -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      So, it wont affect the criminal trial (I would think).
      It could very well affect it: As mentioned above, the Roux case comes to mind. He pleaded guilty, received a 5 year suspended sentence and paid the family of his victim compensation.
    1. Fudzy's Avatar
      Fudzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by blunomore View Post
      It could very well affect it: As mentioned above, the Roux case comes to mind. He pleaded guilty, received a 5 year suspended sentence and paid the family of his victim compensation.
      What would his sentence have been the same if he hadn't paid compensation?
    1. blunomore's Avatar
      blunomore -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fudzy View Post
      What would his sentence have been the same if he hadn't paid compensation?
      The suspension of his sentence was done on condition that he paid the victim's widow R750 000 and that he was not convicted again of a violent crime, so IMO if there was no payment, his sentence may have been harsher.
    1. killadoob's Avatar
      killadoob -
      If they take the money over his jail term they are no better than he is.
    1. blunomore's Avatar
      blunomore -
      Quote Originally Posted by killadoob View Post
      If they take the money over his jail term they are no better than he is.
      What do you think of people instituting a civil claim after the murder of a loved one ?
    1. Fudzy's Avatar
      Fudzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by blunomore View Post
      What do you think of people instituting a civil claim after the murder of a loved one ?
      Surely that's like charging the person for the crime twice?
    1. nfbs's Avatar
      nfbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by killadoob View Post
      If they take the money over his jail term they are no better than he is.
      Don't confuse a civil case with a criminal one. The state opened the criminal case as he murdered someone. Even if the parents say don't prosecute Oscar they can't cause the criminal case to be dropped as it is the state vs oscar pistorius
    1. blunomore's Avatar
      blunomore -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fudzy View Post
      Surely that's like charging the person for the crime twice?
      No.

      The one is criminal, meaning the state is charging someone with a crime and the other one is civil, meaning one individual instituting a claim against another one for damages.
    1. Fudzy's Avatar
      Fudzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by blunomore View Post
      No.

      The one is criminal, meaning the state is charging someone with a crime and the other one is civil, meaning one individual instituting a claim against another one for damages.
      But one can affect the other?
    1. froot's Avatar
      froot -
      Quote Originally Posted by nfbs View Post
      Don't confuse a civil case with a criminal one. The state opened the criminal case as he murdered someone. Even if the parents say don't prosecute Oscar they can't cause the criminal case to be dropped as it is the state vs oscar pistorius
      This.

      The State doesn't get any money from the civil suit so there's no incentive to drop the case

      The prosecutors are upstanding citizens anyways, so they have no reason whatsoever to want to drop it.
    1. killadoob's Avatar
      killadoob -
      Quote Originally Posted by nfbs View Post
      Don't confuse a civil case with a criminal one. The state opened the criminal case as he murdered someone. Even if the parents say don't prosecute Oscar they can't cause the criminal case to be dropped as it is the state vs oscar pistorius
      I am not confusing it, OJ simpson was acquitted but there was so solid, there was no doubt he did it but dna evidence was new and he hired some amazing people who somehow convinced the jury that the dna evidence was flawed.

      Anyhow he got off, he was then sued by the family for millions. They won the case, wrongful death or something. Point being that they sued after he was found not guilty. They never sued him before or his during the trial. So why is there a civil case against him when he has not even been found guilty or not guilty? If he is found not guilty how can they make a case like the family did against simpson? basically in that case the judge knew full well he got off on technicalities so it wasn't a fair civil case.

      Perhaps my understanding is lacking but oj simpson was not guilty. Then he had to pay the family millions for her death but he was not guilty according to the legal system oj simpson never killed those two people, yet he had to pay their families. Odd. You are forced to pay for the death of someone that according to a jury you never killed. So i find it odd there is a civil case now against oscar. Indicates to me that they are willing to accept a huge sum of money and he will walk. Remember if you have money you can make evidence disappear, you can basically buy your way out of a murder charge but if you have the family accepting money and acknowledging they are fine with it the uproar may not be as bad.
    1. Jola's Avatar
      Jola -
      Quote Originally Posted by killadoob View Post
      Perhaps my understanding is lacking ...
      That ^

      The civil and criminal cases are completely separate, and have different burdens of proof, ie "beyond reasonable doubt" vs "on a balance of probabilities".

      And the cases are completely separate and do not influence one another.

      In the local case OP was at the very least, and he has admitted to this, responsible for the negligent and unlawful killing of RS, and would be liable in a civil case.

      Therefore best to settle out of court.
    1. killadoob's Avatar
      killadoob -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jola View Post
      That ^

      The civil and criminal cases are completely separate, and have different burdens of proof, ie "beyond reasonable doubt" vs "on a balance of probabilities"
      Ok so my understanding is lacking but i grasp civil vs criminal, so explain the process to me please because i don't understand how anyone can be settling anything when he has yet to be put on trial for the murder.

      I assume he will give the family millions and will then make a deal with the prosecutor that he serves no jail time but enriches her family. So explain the situation please jola cause i am lost to be honest. I understand the civil case against oj simpson but that was after the verdict not before or during, can you explain that? Well explain why he is offering settlement before he has even gone to trial.

      Quote Originally Posted by blunomore View Post
      No.

      The one is criminal, meaning the state is charging someone with a crime and the other one is civil, meaning one individual instituting a claim against another one for damages.
      I agree with fudzy though, seems bizarre to be offering the family a settlement when the trial has yet to begin. Surely the civil case comes after he is found not guilty as was the case with OJ.
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