Pistorius, who goes on trial on March 3, says he shot Steenkamp
after mistaking her for an intruder at his high-security home last
Valentine's Day. State lawyers say he killed her in cold blood.
"No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating
accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly
loved, and continues to love, Reeva," Pistorius said in a brief
statement posted on his website.
"The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry
with me for the rest of my life," said the athlete, who is on bail
but could face life in prison if convicted.
The 27-year-old double-amputee, known as "Blade Runner" for the
prostheses he wears in competition, was one of South Africa's most
revered sportsmen but his shooting of Steenkamp has divided national
opinion on whether it was premeditated.
It has also highlighted South Africa's high rate of violent attacks
on women, including rape, which rights groups say are often
perpetrated by partners or other people known to them.
On Friday, the women's league of the ruling ANC party led a march in
the capital Pretoria to commemorate Steenkamp's death, with many
participants holding up posters denouncing violence against women.
"Pistorius must rot in jail," one poster read.
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In a statement, the league said its march was intended to make
communities aware of the "barbaric conduct against women and
children" in the country.
Private news channel eNCA ran an anniversary documentary in which
Steenkamp's friends and family recounted how the law graduate turned
model was vocal about such issues.
Police say 107 witnesses are expected to testify for the prosecution
in Pistorius's trial. The state's case is that he intended to kill
Steenkamp when he shot her in the head, arm and hip.
Last October, prosecutors said the Paralympic medalist, who also
competed in the 2012 Olympics, would face two additional gun-related
charges related to prior incidents in which he allegedly fired a gun
in a public space.
(Additional reporting by Dinky Mkhize; editing by Janet Lawrence)
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