Tonight, there are two mothers in South Africa who is in more pain than I am. One mother is the mother of a beautiful young model, a law school graduate and an entrepreneur committed to empowering women. Reeva Steenkamp was a celebrity in her own right. Reeva was one of FHM magazine‘s 100 Sexiest Women in the World for two years running, appeared in international and South African advertisements and was a celebrity contestant on Tropika Island of Treasure filmed in Jamaica. She was also the South African face of Avon cosmetics.
The second mother is the mother of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius made history when he became the first amputee to win a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in 2011. The following season he secured two more silver medals, in the men’s individual one-lap sprint and the relay event, at the African Athletics Championships in Benin. Pistorius again wrote himself into the history books when he became the first amputee to compete on the track at the able-bodied Olympic Games in August 2012. Pistorius reached the semifinals in the individual 400m event, and also competed in the relay final, with South Africa given a free pass after they were obstructed by the Kenyan team in the heats. A six-time Paralympic Games gold medallist, the Blade Runner holds the men’s 100m, 200m and 400m world records in the T44 disability class.
At this stage it is unclear whether Reeva snuck into Oscar’s home in the early hours of the morning to surprise him on Valentines Day and was mistaken for a burglar or whether she was cold bloodedly shot by her lover.
Oscar, South Africa’s golden son, is in prison tonight. Reeva, one of South Africa’s golden daughters, is lying on a cold slab in a mortuary.
In at least two homes mothers are grieving their children.
Whose loss is the greatest? The mother whose 29-year-old daughter is dead or the mother of the shooter who happens to also be one of the most determined and talented athletes in the world?
I do know I would not change places with either one of them at all! I know my child suffered long and hard and her remains rest in a little wooden box…but her death was honorable, peaceful and “dignified”. Her character will not be assassinated in the press or in a court of law… I do not have to worry whether she will spend the rest of her life in prison, whether she will go to bed with a full tummy, safe from other killers and rapists.
Tonight I will pray for the two mommy’s who both lost their children today.