Beloved and much admired national icon Reeva Steenkamp was today laid to rest in her home town of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Her funeral is said to have been attended by up to 100 close friends and relatives many who expressed outrage and sorrow at her recent death at the hands of her boyfriend, South Africa’s ‘Blade Runner,’ Oscar Pistorius.
Offered Gavin Venter, an ex-jockey who worked for Steenkamp’s father:
“Without a doubt he’s a danger to the public. He’ll be a danger to witnesses. He must stay in jail. He’s already shown how dangerous he can be for what he did to Reeva.
“She was an angel, she was so soft, so innocent. Such a lovely person. It’s just sad that this could happen to somebody so good.”
Said her brother Adam Steenkamp:
“There’s a space missing inside all the people that she knew that can’t be filled again. We are going to keep all the positive things that we remember and know about my sister.
“We will miss her.”
The killing of law school graduate Steenkamp, 30, has once again highlighted South Africa’s dismal record of violence against women – on average, a woman is raped every four minutes, and one is killed every eight hours by her partner or relative.
Reflects huffpo: Tells the huffingtonpost: Outside the court, several dozen singing women protested against domestic violence and waved placards urging Pistorius be refused bail. “Pistorius must rot in jail,” one placard said.
South Africa has some of the world’s worst rates of violence against females and the highest rate in the world of women killed by an intimate partner, according to a study by the Medical Research Council. Another council study estimates a child or woman is raped every four minutes. While homicide rates have dropped, the number of women killed by current or former partners has increased, said the council’s Professor Rachel Jewkes. At least three women are killed by a partner every day in the country of 50 million, she said.
And then there is this via the nydailynews: The country is still reeling from the murder this month of 17-year-old Anene Booysen, who was gang-raped, mutilated and left for dead on a building site.
“This is not acceptable and our women need to be protected,” said Troy Martens, a spokeswoman for the ruling ANC party’s Women’s League, which held a protest outside the Pretoria court demanding Pistorius be denied bail.
In the end doubts are now cast on the character of a national icon by way of Oscar Pistorius and by proxy the national character and general all round idolization of folk heros who may have troubling sides to themselves that in many ways echo the troubling wayward dichotomy of life in modern day South Africa.
Should anyone really surprised a national icon failed in resurrecting the national character…?