Oscar Pistorius should never have been released, says one of Reeva Steenkamp's closest friends who claims Blade Runner 'got away with murder' by serving less than half his sentence
One of the closest friends and confidantes of murdered Reeva Steenkamp has condemned the decision to release her killer Oscar Pistorius after he had served less than half his sentence.
Samantha Jonker, who went to school with the murdered model and a lifelong friend, said The Blade Runner “literally got away with murder.”
Ms Jonker, 39, who grew up with Reeva in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth, spoke out as anti-violence activists spoke out against the release of the former athlete who competed in the 2012 London Olympics.
She told MailOnline: 'What message does South Africa send to allow a murderer to be so lenient in taking the life of a woman or child.
“He should be the one behind a closed door for the rest of his life. It should be a life for a life.
One of the closest friends and confidante of murdered Reeva Steenkamp, Samantha Jonker (pictured), has condemned the decision to release her killer Oscar Pistorius after serving less than half his sentence
Jonker (in white, circled at top) went to school with murdered model and lifelong friend Steenkamp (in blue, circled at bottom), said The Blade Runner 'literally got away with murder'
Mrs. Jonker, 39, who grew up with Reeva in the city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, spoke out, while anti-violence activists spoke against the release of the former athlete who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London
'In prison he was given his own private room with a television, his own private space to exercise in, he had privileges that other criminals never had.
“Why is one killer rewarded? He stole everything from her and her loved ones through the horrific choice he made on that fateful day that will haunt me forever.
“He shot her not once, but four times through a closed bathroom door. Ik ken mijn Reeva. If she were in a safe house, she would feel no reason to lock herself behind a door.
“I still sit and think about what she must have felt in that moment behind that closed door, all alone.
'I think of Reeva every day. I have a photo of Reeva in my house that I look at every day.
'I listen to the same video of Reeva when I miss her and need to hear her voice. Her death has left a huge gap in my life and I can't seem to forgive him for what he chose to do.”
Reeva, who was 29, was shot dead by Pistorius in his Pretoria flat on Valentine's Day 2013. He shot her through a toilet door, claiming it was an accident as he thought an intruder had entered his home.
But after a year of lengthy court hearings, his conviction for culpable homicide was commuted to murder. Instead of life in prison, he was sentenced to thirteen and a half years in prison.
Ms Jonker, 39, who now lives in Berlin, first met Reeva at St Dominic's Priory in Port Elizabeth at the age of 11.
Oscar Pistorius has been released on parole after nine years in prison
Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the closed bathroom door of his home in a gated community in Pretoria
She added, “I remember the first day Reeva entered my classroom. She lit the room when she came in.
“She was so gentle, so kind, so loving, so supportive and understanding. I noticed that I always had to laugh at her.
'I could share everything with her and never felt judged. I only felt loved. I remember this one day when we were about 11 or 12 years old. We were each other's lifesaving freshwater partners and we had an exam on one of the coldest and rainiest days.
“I didn't want to continue the exam. I cried and Reeva kept motivating me to continue and pushed me to finish it and we passed the exam together.
'After the exam we sat with our towels on a bench at the edge of the pool. I was still upset and Reeva managed to turn the situation around and the next moment we both laughed so hard that our stomach hurt and we both tears from joy flowed down our cheeks.
Pistorius has spent the past nine years in the Atteridgeville Correctional Center in Pretoria
'There's a saying, “a best friend is someone who can make you laugh even when you feel like crying.”
'Reeva was the best friend a girl like me could ever have had. Our friendship continued throughout high school and beyond. Even though we lived separately, we always kept in touch. She never missed wishing me on my birthday.”
Anti-violence activists have also criticized Pistorius' freedom, which comes with strict parole conditions.
Bulelwa Adonis of the South African Women for Change group said Pistorius' failure to admit to the killing proved he had not accepted responsibility upon his release.
She told MailOnline: 'We are deeply saddened by his release.
“We are grateful that he actually served time, because in our country, most predators don't serve time at all.
The South African won gold in the 4×100 meter relay at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
At the Paralympic Games in London he also won gold in the men's 400 meters
In 2012, Pistorius became the 10th athlete to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games
“We are completely disheartened, to say the least, as our country has become a safe haven and we have adopted a mentality of leniency towards predators and anyone who commits gender-based violence or femicide.”
She said the fact that Pretorius had been given strict parole conditions “didn't mean much to us”.
She added: “Ultimately, Pistorius is someone who took a life and Reeva's loved ones will never be able to spend time with her again.
'We actually have one of the best laws in the world. Our rights and all that is absolutely phenomenal. But it has no reflection on reality.
“In fact, the reality is, to say the least, quite the opposite, as gender-based violence and femicide are on the rise.”
She revealed that the last figures from the South African police show that 3,9914 women were killed in the twelve months before March 2023 and that twelve women were killed every day in the country.
'Those statistics alone give a perfect picture of the reality here in South Africa. We are also known as the rape capital of the world and the number of rapes is five times higher than the global average.
“Oscar is going to get help with anger control and rehabilitation, and all these things, but I think that responsibility is a big thing that we as an organization emphasize and we don't think that justice has been served in his case.”
The deeply devoted Christian Pistorius brought his second day of freedom through hiding in the country house of his uncle Arnold, which will be his home until the end of his sentence at the end of the decade.
He did not venture outside as rain lashed the affluent Waterkloof district outside Pretoria and has not yet been seen in public.
A neighbor said: 'Oscar needs peace. He has been through a lot. I know he will spend a lot of his time reading his Bible.”
The arms fanatic may be released conditionally until December 2029 and must adhere to a number of conditions drawn up by officials of the Atterridgeville Correction Services.
He has to undergo a course 'GOODRANGEMENT' to help him deal with his fierce mood, which, according to the prosecutors, led to killing Reeva.
Pistorius is forbidden to give media interviews, which will be a new blow, since large American talk shows hoped to put him on the list as a sterergast.
Pistorius' successful attempt to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games in London made him a big star in America and a sign for the Paralympians.
The Blade Runner may take an everyday job to fill his conditional release and the idea of the deeply religious man to be a pastor has also been suggested.
His rich uncle Arnold owns a successful real estate company called Twin Towers and has an office suite in a complex a few minutes from his house.
Arnold has promised law officials that he will keep a close eye on The Blade Runner, who has prosthetic legs, and will ensure that he meets his bail conditions.