A frail Barry Steenkamp‚ 73‚ on Tuesday relived the traumatic aftermath of the murder of his daughter Reeva – a qualified lawyer and model who was gunned down by her boyfriend‚ former world acclaimed athlete Oscar Pistorius.
Steenkamp, wringing his hands, recalled the morning he received news of Reeva’s death, while he was at work.
“I got a phone call form June, I couldn’t really understand what she was so upset about… I thought one of our animals had been killed… She said ‘come home immediately’.
“I realised that she’d mentioned Reeva. She said ‘come home immediately’ and then Reeva’s name was there and I started to panic. That’s when I realised Reeva had been killed…. It’s like it happened yesterday…” the tearful‚ shaking father testified.
“From that day‚ it’s affected June‚ myself and my family so much. Our lives just changed completely… It’s very difficult to explain.”
Steenkamp had a stroke after the murder and has remained in ill-health.
“I don’t wish that on any human being‚ finding out what happened‚ it has devastated us.”
Steenkamp spoke of his attempts to feel the pain he imagined his daughter must have felt in the “awful” moments before her murder.
“What she must have thought in those seconds‚ she must have been in so much fear and pain. That is what I think of all the time‚ I visualise [it]… I didn’t know if I was going mental…”
Steenkamp said he stuck his diabetes needles in his arms and stomach to try to see if he could feel the pain she felt.
Talking of his wife June‚ he said: “I hearing her crying‚ I hear her talking to Reeva‚ she feels just as much as I do.”
Steenkamp said he had not discounted the possibility of talking to Pistorius in future, but‚ said it was difficult for him to forgive him as June had done.
Barry Roux‚ advocate for Pistorius‚ said: “We are sorry. Whatever we say won’t bring your daughter back.”
Roux told Steenkamp that Pistorius had made efforts to talk to Reeva’s family‚ without success.
“Maybe the time will come. I would like to talk to him‚ yes‚” Steenkamp said.
Pistorius served just a year of a five-year prison term for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva in 2013.
Judge Thokozile Masipa is resentencing Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria for the second time this week after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set aside the culpable homicide conviction and replaced it with that of murder last year.