Mourning in the Spotlight / Five Minutes to Mourn

Taking away a criminal’s weapon will not stop him from breaking into your home, just like never getting married will not stop a man from beating women. No matter how hard you try, you cannot change who you really are. People simply evolve or adjust to a situation. Consciously deciding to stay sober does not take the urge to drink away. Having your face plastered on the cover every magazine, newspaper and all over the internet for being a superstar athlete may seem like a dream come true.

Enjoying the perks and privileges that come with stardom is most definitely the best part. Surely being famous gives you the power, recognition and exposure many can only wish for when trying to have their voice heard. That is, until you shoot your girlfriend on Valentines Day. Suddenly the once adoring crowd turn into insult spewing haters discussing your tragedy like they were next to you when it happened. Being the mother of the girl shot dead by Oscar Pistorious and having cameras film your every move end every word cannot be easy when all you want to do is grieve for the loss of your daughter.

Instead of mourning in private June Steenkamp decided to speak out to the millions following the Pistorious trial. Living in a Country with the highest murder rate per Capita in the world, means being aware of how important the ability to defend ourselves is. At the launch of her book, yes the grieving mother wrote a book about Reeva’s life, death and legacy, reportedly stated that “if Oscar didn’t have guns, Reeva would be alive today.

She would be here with me today – if Oscar didn’t have guns” Mrs Steenkamp claims that she is speaking out to prevent this from happening to someone else. This makes you wonder if she really cares about others or just making the most of her five minutes of fame. Whether you believe Oscar’s side of the story or not, it was his hand holding the gun, pulling the trigger. If Oscar is to be believed, he did what any person fearing for his life would have done.

June further stated that “she would have walked away from a situation. That is a point factored. Why would somebody have ten guns? Why should they? It’s too easy”.

She also raised the issue of gun control at the University of Johannesburg. Perhaps Mr Steenkamp would have been singing a different tune if an armed intruder were responsible for her daughter’s death. Would she then be wishing Oscar had used his gun to save daughter’s life? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Her uneducated statements on the use of guns and their need for self-defence in South-Africa seem like an abuse of the new-found fame she is using to speak out. That and the fact that June Steenkamp is questioning Oscar having ten guns when he only used one to end Reeva’s life again raises the question if this is her way of mourning or rather revelling in media attention.