Tue, 30 Apr, 2019
Star opens up on Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp "love triangle" saga
South African rugby star Francois Hougaard has opened up on the long-running rumours that a text message that he sent to Reeva Steenkamp sparked her brutal murder, which was done by Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius six years ago.
Steenkamp was shot dead by Pistorius through the bathroom door of his home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Pistorius is serving a prison sentence of more than 13 years for her murder.
Oscar Pistorius in court
Now, Hougaard has opened up about how he was put in the middle of the media inquest in 2013 due to reports that claimed a text he sent was the catalyst of the murder.
Hougaard told The Daily Mail:
“Reeva and I dated for quite a while.
“One of my best mates phoned me at seven o’clock when I was playing golf to tell me what had happened. He was the first to get to the house. It’s a shock when you hear something like that, isn’t it? It’s tough.
“Everyone was saying I sent Reeva a message and that’s why he shot her. I had nothing to do with her any more but it’s all people were asking me about. Mentally, that was a really tough thing to go through.”
Hougaard, 31, was involved in the lengthy court case and shared how he stopped the mental pressure from impacting his performance as a rugby player.
“It was tough because rugby is 80 per cent mental. If you’re not mentally where you need to be, then you’re not going to play well,” he said.
“I went to see a psychologist to talk about it. That taught me to deal with negative situations. That taught me to turn things into positive fuel and not to sulk.
“When you’re young, you might wake up with a sore shoulder and think, ‘Ah, I’m not really keen for training.’ Once something really seriously bad happens, it just adds some perspective. You don’t sulk about getting dropped or a niggle. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got.”