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Thread: Oscar Pistorius arrested after girlfriend shot dead

  1. #226
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Oscar killed our golden girl Reeva so now he must pay us blood money: Barry and June Steenkamp's first newspaper interview about their daughter and Pistorius

    • June and Barry Steenkamp caused outrage after suing Oscar Pistorius
    • The Paralympian shot their daughter Reeva dead in his home in Pretoria
    • Couple say their financial ruin forced them to sue over Reeva's death
    • They daughter was helping them will bills and food when she died

    By BARBARA JONES
    PUBLISHED: 21:59, 29 June 2013 | UPDATED: 21:59, 29 June 2013


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    Lost lamb: Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day

    Reeva was June Steenkamp’s cherished youngest child.

    A blessing born late in her life, who blossomed into a beautiful and caring woman, Reeva brought joy and laughter to the daily drudgery of her parents’ lives – and glamour and enchantment to the monotony of their small-town existence.
    She was, too, a dutiful daughter who, having found wealth and success, intended to indulge her impoverished parents and secure their financial future.
    But then Reeva died, aged 29, terrified and alone, in the bathroom of boyfriend Oscar Pistorius’ luxurious Pretoria gated home after the Paralympian shot her four times through the locked door.
    Her death ended any hopes her family harboured that she could save them from financial ruin.
    Their subsequent decision to sue millionaire Pistorius for compensation has led to an outcry in their native South Africa, where the grieving couple have been accused of seeking ‘blood money’ for the life of their daughter.

    Critics say Reeva would surely be ‘ashamed of her parents for the way they are crying out for money from her killer’.
    Now, in their first newspaper interview, June and husband Barry tell how their financial ruin has forced them to sue Pistorius.

    How the loss of their daughter has left them broken and bereft.

    And how bitterly they regret not noticing warning signs that all was not well in her life.

    More...



    ‘Our hearts just feel broken. But we have no choice but to sue. Pistorius has placed us in this position,’ says June, 66.

    ‘We are struggling financially. Reeva was helping us. On the night she died, when she was on her way to Oscar’s house, we talked about her sending us money to pay our cable television bill. I was fretting because I thought I was going to miss her first TV appearance.
    ‘She told me not to worry, she would send money the next day. She regularly helped us with food and utility bills.’

    Bereft: June and Barry Steenkamp, pictured on the beach at Maitland near Port Elizabeth, are suing Oscar Pistorius over the death of their daughter Reeva

    Clearly embarrassed at having to tell the world about their financial plight, Reeva’s father Barry, 69, covers his face with his hands and weeps, not just for the loss of his daughter, but also the loss of dignity he has endured by being forced to reveal his poverty.

    Speaking to The Mail on Sunday at their home in Port Elizabeth, Barry sobs: ‘I know not everyone understands why we are doing this.
    ‘It makes me feel awkward, a bit guilty and terrible when people say these awful things. It’s shocking and hurts us so much as a family.’
    Now, to compound their pain, Pistorius is even training again, though a spokesman insists that it is simply to help him find ‘the necessary mental and emotional equilibrium to process his trauma’.
    The world was stunned when Pistorius, 26, shot Reeva on St Valentine’s Day, claiming that he thought his girlfriend was an intruder.
    Until her tragic death, the pair had been South Africa’s Golden Couple: she was a world-famous model on the brink of an even more lucrative TV career; he was the articulate and handsome double-amputee known as the ‘blade-runner’ who transformed our view of paralympian athletes when he ran alongside the able-bodied in London’s 2012 Olympics.
    With his 3 million fortune, upmarket properties and obsession for fast cars, he seemed the ideal global ambassador for disabled sport, gracing society magazines and tabloids alike, with Reeva on his arm.
    When he was arrested, June was unable to watch the television images that gripped the globe. Instead she has her own harrowing memories that come back to haunt her in the early hours.

    Treasured memory: The special Christmas photo of Reeva which her father Barry keeps in his bible, taken when the family lived at the Barry's Arlington Jockey Academy

    ‘I remember the 5am phone call from Inspector Botha,’ she says. ‘He was the detective in charge of the case. He asked me if I had a daughter, and what was her name.
    ‘He said there had been an accident, someone had been shot, my Reeva was dead.’
    Hysterical, June phoned her husband who was out collecting firewood. ‘I was crying and screaming over the phone, and he couldn’t understand what I was telling him.

    'He thought I was telling him the dog was dead. I think he just couldn’t take in what I was trying to tell him. When he came home we went through it together. Since that moment all the joy has gone out of our lives.’
    She said her husband sat down, shaking. ‘I told him the inspector had said he wanted to tell us so that we didn’t hear it on the radio or in a newspaper. It was important for us to know.’
    June and Barry could not face the formal identification process in Johannesburg. A good friend, Cecil Myers, at whose home Reeva had been staying for several months, offered to carry out the sad task for them. Reeva’s body was then flown to Port Elizabeth for her funeral on February 19, and together her parents found the courage to see her.
    ‘She was lying on a cold slab, looking waxy and lifeless. It was heart-breaking, the most terrible thing,’ says June.
    ‘They had put a cap on her head to hide the worst of the bruising where she had been shot, and they had used a lot of make-up. They told me I shouldn’t touch her. But I had to kiss her goodbye, I had to.’
    Tiny angel: Reeva as a baby at the family home

    June said that image comes into her head every day, along with the painful knowledge of Reeva’s sheer terror as shots were fired at her.
    ‘I think of her screaming in fear and pain. I can’t get that out of my head.’
    She hardly remembers the day of her daughter’s funeral at the city’s Victoria Park crematorium.
    ‘Somehow I got through the day with the help of wonderful family and friends,’ she says.

    ‘Barry and I were overwhelmed with the kindness and sympathy we received, and overwhelmed by the love that Reeva had inspired.

    'We still don’t know how we would get through each day without their support.’
    She said neither of them could bear to watch the never-ending news coverage on TV and in the papers.
    ‘People asked us if we would go to court for the bail hearing, or when he comes up for the murder trial.

    'But there is nothing further from our minds, it is not possible that we could sit through that or lay eyes on Pistorius. We just couldn’t do it.’
    Pistorius’ dramatic arrest and court appearances on a charge of premeditated murder again made headlines. But in South Africa, the wheels of justice move slowly. And while Pistorius remains free on bail to enjoy his luxurious life, squiring yet another blonde, fellow athlete Claudia Viljoen, the Steenkamps are locked into unimaginable grief.
    Both are in ill-health and, in a country where there is no welfare system, they struggle to pay the rent on their smallholding, a one-storey home tucked at the bottom of a dusty track in Greenbushes, a suburb of primitive block-built bungalows far from Port Elizabeth’s wealthy holiday coastline.

    Reeva was a loving daughter only too anxious to help her parents out in their hour of need. When she was growing up, Barry ran a horse farm and owned his own house, but the recession meant he had to sell both, salvaging what he could of his equipment and furniture.
    June, who helped him on the farm, was forced to take part-time work as a waitress to help make ends meet.

    Worried they were on the brink of bankruptcy, Reeva, a law graduate, had planned to return to Port Elizabeth and set up a legal firm to add to her income from modelling. Now, since her death, they face destitution and have had to issue a public statement saying that offers of financial assistance have been ‘very much appreciated’.
    Pistorius’ next court appearance is in Pretoria on August 19, which would have been Reeva’s 30th birthday.

    The prosecution will claim the athlete had a jealous row with Reeva and deliberately shot her. For the Steenkamps the anguish will be unbearable. ‘Why? Why did this happen?’ June asks as she dabs her red-rimmed eyes with a handkerchief.

    Behind the facade: June and Barry say the sensed something was not quite right between Reeva and her boyfriend Oscar

    It’s a question they ask themselves endlessly. Their daughter, they admit was somewhat secretive about her short relationship with the athlete. ‘Although we were close, she didn’t talk a lot about him,’ says June. Reeva had moved to Johannesburg two years ago and lived with a friend. But she did phone her mother most days.
    ‘I only found out she was dating him when a friend showed me some YouTube pictures of her and Oscar on the red carpet at a sports award ceremony. I called to ask her if this was a new special friend. She said she didn’t want the public speculation that would come from them being seen together. She wanted to keep a low profile until she was sure it was going to be serious. A few weeks later, in early December last year, she told me she had decided to give Oscar all her attention, all her time. She was going to invest in the relationship, she’d made up her mind he was important to her.’
    Reeva, who always spent Christmas with her parents, told them she would be celebrating with Pistorius. Her father recalls: ‘She took us to a lovely game farm near Addo Elephant Park [a game reserve near Port Elizabeth] for a weekend and we realised this was her way of spending time with us because she was not coming home for Christmas.’
    Reeva’s romantic break with her boyfriend, however, did not happen. She called home to say she was spending the festive season with girlfriends and Pistorius had gone to Cape Town with other friends. ‘We didn’t know what to make of it,’ says June. ‘Girls don’t tell their mothers everything. But she sounded all right and seemed to know where Oscar was and what he was doing. It was strange, though, and we missed her so much that day.’
    June’s concerns mounted when Pistorius was spotted partying on a friend’s yacht in Cape Town during the holidays. One newspaper headline asked: ‘Where’s Reeva?’

    Back on track: Oscar Pistorius runs at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this week, during his first track training session since the killing of girlfriend Reeva

    June says: ‘But when I spoke to her she seemed calm. She said Oscar had made some plans that didn’t include her and she knew where he was and she was all right about it.
    ‘She knew he would be seeing another girlfriend there but she seemed determined to appear fine about it, and I thought how like Reeva that was, not making a fuss or raising objections. If that was what he wanted to do, she would be fine about it. Sad, though, that she also missed Christmas with us.’
    A few days later Reeva sent a text to say she was feeling unwell and thought she might have flu. ‘I replied, saying I was sending her some love-fairies to make her better,’ says June. ‘She said that worked, she was getting better. That’s how we always spoke to each other, a bit girlish, a bit sentimental, but it was magical between us.’
    Slowly, however, Reeva revealed that the couple rowed. Shortly afterwards there was a disturbing incident when she phoned her mother from Oscar’s car and said he was scaring her by driving recklessly fast.
    ‘I told her to give the phone to Oscar,’ says June. ‘That was the one and only time I ever spoke to him. I warned him that if he hurt my baby in any way I would wipe him out. I know that sounds aggressive but I was desperate to keep Reeva safe. I couldn’t bear to think her life was in danger at his hands. He didn’t say very much, just “OK, Mrs Steenkamp”.’
    Desperate to find some explanation for her daughter’s death, June speculates that Reeva, who would refuse to be controlled by anyone and was always assertive and dominant, may have clashed with Pistorius’ controlling behaviour and rages.
    ‘We don’t know, and we feel we need to know, why he would have turned on her. Why they ever had fights. Reeva didn’t like fights, everyone who knew her was struck by her calmness,’ she says.
    As we sit outside their home under the blistering sun, Barry tenderly takes out a family photo album that charts Reeva’s life. He already had a son, Adam, from a previous marriage when he met June, and she had a daughter, Simone, then 18.


    Opening up: June and Barry Steenkamp speak for the first time about how they were left with no choice but to sue their daughter's killer

    When Reeva was born shortly after they married, they felt their lives were complete. ‘As a child, Reeva was an assertive girl, a lovely, sturdy kid who knew her own mind,’ Barry says. ‘She was horse-mad and when she was three sat astride the family’s trusted skewbald pony, Pinto. She was a natural. Sitting there bare-back she was completely confident. That was Reeva,’ he adds proudly.
    The family lived in Cape Town then, where Reeva, kitted out in a rubber ring, splashed in the garden pool. Almost all of her life was spent outdoors in the garden or in a pony’s paddock.
    ‘She wasn’t an all-out tomboy,’ says Barry. ‘But she could match any boy. At six she was given a BMX bike and could do wheelies as well as anyone, although it was her favourite colour – pink.’
    Even as a small child, Reeva was photogenic and posed elegantly in front of the camera. While the couple have numerous albums, there is one picture of Reeva that they treasure, keeping it tucked between the pages of the family Bible. She is 12, posing by their Christmas tree, gleefully excited at the prospect of opening her presents, her eyes glittering with anticipation and joy.
    Her parents recall trouble-free teenage years. ‘Reeva never had a temper, never shouted, never argued or talked back at us,’ says June. ‘She was loved by all of us, but also a little girl who knew her own mind.’
    As the sun sets outside their home, the Steenkamps slowly walk down the corridor into their living room. Reeva was, they said, their ‘laat lammetjie’ – their late lamb who brought joy to the family. Even when the couple split up for a period when Reeva was a teenager, it was their youngest who brought them back together, loving them equally and determined to restore family life.
    Their life now is filled with precious but painful memories. ‘Our loss is total,’ June says. ‘Pistorius has taken away her chance of ever marrying or having children.’
    ‘Two weeks ago was Father’s Day,’ says Barry. ‘I just wept.’
    ‘I wake at 3am most nights and it all comes flooding back,’ says June. ‘I have to dredge up all my courage just to get out of bed and face the day. I still expect and want my smiling daughter to walk through the door, but I know it’s never going to happen again.’


    Read more: Oscar killed our golden girl Reeva so now he must pay us blood money: Barry and June Steenkamp speak about their daughter and Pistorious for the first time | Mail Online


  2. #227
    Elite Member Lenny's Avatar
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    Oh fuck, that was a sad read. Reeva's parents didn't say anything that made them look shallow or greedy, IMO. They should get Pistorius' money. It won't make them happy but at least it will make their life a little easier.

  3. #228
    Silver Member aggie's Avatar
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    Totally agree with Lenny.

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    No amount of money can fix this but in this case it's probably the only "justice" they can hope for. Everyone knows he did it and everyone knows he will get away with it.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    They can't sit through the murder trial or lay eyes on him but they have no qualms about trying to shove their hands in his pocket? Nice...
    Kill him.
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    It's natural to want to make your child's murderer pay in any way you can even if the thought of setting eyes on him or sitting through the trial makes you sick.
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    they're probably right to ask for money but i just can't with the maudlin ridiculousness of that article.
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    It's sad, but I kind of rolled my eyes when they said they depended on her to send money so that they could pay their cable television bill. If you're so hard pressed for money that you rely on someone else to pay your bills, you shouldn't have cable TV in the first place.

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    ^From the article it sounds like she was paying for cable so they could watch her TV appearances.
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    Oscar Pistorius on the Stand: 'I Was Simply Trying to Protect Reeva'

    An emotional Oscar Pistorius took the stand in his own defense on Monday, and immediately issued a strong – and surprise – apology to the family of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he killed in his home on Valentine's Day 2013.

    According to South African news reports, Pistorius told the Steenkamps in the silent courtroom, "I wake up every morning and you're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for. I can't imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I've caused you and your family."

    He said, "I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise that when she went to bed that night, she felt loved. I've tried to put my words on paper many, many times to write to you. But no words will ever suffice."

    Pistorius, who discussed his mobility issues, also said he is taking anti-depressants. "I'm scared to sleep, I have terrible nightmares, I can smell blood and wake up terrified," he said.

    State prosecutors charge the murder was premeditated. Pistorius insists he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

    Oscar Pistorius Takes the Stand : People.com
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  11. #236
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    I saw the picture of Reeva after she was shot......... It reminded me of those autopsy pictures of JFK. She didn't have a chance in hell to get out of there alive, yet Pistorius claimed he had no intention of killing her "or anybody else for that matter"..... You'd think 4 dumdum shots in that case would literally be overkill.
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    Since marriage, I have never heard a strange noise in the house without immediately turning to my spouse and saying, "Did you hear that?" Without legs, I think I would be EVEN MORE LIKELY to use that approach.

    Even then, if you have a gun, you could just as well point it at the door and say, "Who the hell is in there? I will put holes in you if you don't identify yourself or get the hell out through the window you came in."

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    Sick of his theatrics, it's ridiculous, and he's guilty as sin.
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    I thought there was a newer thread about his trial.
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