Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius and his family have bemoaned the tone of social media comments on his relationship with his deceased girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
“The disregard that is being shown by some — specifically those commenting via social media — for the profound pain that Reeva’s family and friends are going through is very troubling,” the family said in a statement.
“There is not a moment in the day that Oscar does not mourn for his girlfriend and Reeva’s family, and all those who were close to her are in his thoughts constantly.”
Pistorius has been charged with murder after Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home on February 14. He was released on bail on February 22 under conditions which included a ban on international travel.
He successfully challenged the conditions in the High Court in Pretoria and several were relaxed, including the travel ban.
Pistorius family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess, said: “Reeva’s family, and everyone who loved her, are constantly in their [the Pistorius family’s] prayers.
“Although their relationship was young, she had become an intimate member of the Pistorius family.”
Burgess said that in the short time the pair were together, Pistorius did not have an opportunity to meet Steenkamp’s family, whom she had spoken of with great love.
“She touched all of us with her generosity of spirit and constant affection and will always remain in our hearts.”
Burgess said that over the past few weeks, Pistorius had spent time with many people Steenkamp was close to, sharing memories of her.
“Just as the Pistorius family struggle on a daily basis with the loss of Reeva, they are deeply aware that everyone whose lives she touched is grieving too, and that everyone is doing this in their own way,” she said.
“For Oscar, the process is incredibly overwhelming as he struggles not only to deal with manner in which he lost his girlfriend, but also his role in it.”