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Thursday 21 August 2014

Pistorius numb with shock - uncle

Published 16/02/2013 | 05:41

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Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp (AP Photo/Lucky Nxumalo-Citypress)
Oscar Pistorius weeps in court in Pretoria at his bail hearing in the murder case of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (AP)
Arnold Pistorius, uncle of Oscar Pistorius, makes a statement to the press in Pretoria (AP)

Oscar Pistorius is "numb with shock" over the shooting death of his girlfriend, the athlete's uncle has said.

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The death of the 26-year-old Paralympian's girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his luxury home in the South African capital Pretoria on Thursday has left his whole family devastated, Arnold Pistorius said.

He revealed that they were also "battling to come to terms" with the Blade Runner athlete being arrested and charged with murdering the model, saying the family believed there "is no substance to the allegation".

Speaking from his home in the city, Arnold said Reeva was someone they "got to know well and care for deeply over the last few months" and that the family had all seen first hand how close she and Oscar had become and how happy they were.

"They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time," he said. "We are all grieving for Reeva, her family and her friends. Oscar - as you can imagine - is also numb with shock as well as grief.

"Obviously - at the same time - we, as a family - are also battling to come to terms with Oscar being charged with murder. Words cannot adequately describe our feelings. The lives of our entire family have been turned upside down forever by this unimaginable human tragedy and Reeva's family have suffered a terrible loss. As a family we are trying to be strong and supportive to Oscar as any close family would be in these dreadful circumstances."

Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius' home on the Silver Lakes Golf Estate on Thursday. Pistorius was remanded to a Pretoria police station after a hearing on Friday, at which prosecutors said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the athlete.

The Paralympian, who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was met by a media frenzy as he arrived at the packed court house dressed in a sober grey suit and blue tie.

His family have already issued a statement in which they vowed to fight the murder charge in the "strongest terms".

Meanwhile, South Africa's national broadcaster SABC said it will screen the Tropika Island of Treasure reality TV show featuring Reeva Steenkamp. The show's executive producer, Samantha Moon, said Steenkamp's family wants the show to go ahead.

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