Excerpts from Reeva: A Mother’s Story as June Steenkamp Retells The Oscar Pistorius Trial
With an appeal process looming against the verdict and sentencing of Oscar Pistorius for the death of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, her mother, June Steenkamp, launched her 288-page book titled 'Reeva - A Mother's Story' in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
In her first interview with the SABC, June Steenkamp said she is not concerned about the outcome of the appeal process, as it will neither bring back their slain daughter, nor bring them closure.
“It is never going to happen. One is a fool if you think you can get over this. We will never get over this, we will never get closure,” she said.
“What is closure? Only if she could walk through the door would I have closure. If a miracle could happen and she could come back into our lives. We are devastated, my husband and I. She was everything to us.”
The launch of her book takes place in the same week Pistorius' lawyers filed papers opposing the State's application to appeal against his culpable homicide conviction and sentence.
Pistorius was jailed for five years for the culpable homicide killing of his girlfriend, law graduate and model Reeva on Valentine’s Day 2013.
June Steenkamp said she plans to use the money earned from international media interviews to set up a trust to open a shelter for abused women in the name of Reeva.
“When we have raised enough money to build the shelter and have some funds, I would like to help the people who are going through the same thing,” she said.
“They may also not have money like we when it happened to us. I got such love and help from everybody, so it is time to pay forward, and it will make me feel good.”
What is in the book?
June Steenkamp kept a dignified silence throughout the long months since she received the phone call every mother dreads. In this painfully honest and unflinching account of Reeva's life, she talks about what really went on in her mind as she sat in the packed Pretoria court room day after day and how she is coping in the aftermath of the verdict.
'Reeva - A Mother's Story' is the only true insider's account of this tragic story.
Below is an excerpt, in which June Steenkamp relives the moment she heard the news that her daughter was killed - a day she remembers as the worst of her life:
I’m preoccupied with thoughts about the day ahead, about supervising progress at the Barking Spider, a pub we’re building at the Greenbushes Hotel on the Old Cape Road, when my mobile phone rings.
Really? At this time of the morning?
A voice introduces himself as detective Hilton Botha. “Hello, is that June Steenkamp?”
“Do you have a daughter, Reeva?”
“There has been a terrible accident.”
“What kind of accident?”
“Your daughter has been shot.”
In another excerpt of the book serialised in the Times newspaper, June refers to Pistorius' apology to them in court;
"Why decide to say sorry to me in a televised trial in front of the whole world? I was unmoved by his apology.
"I felt if I appeared to be sorry for him at this stage of his trial on the charge of premeditated murder, it would in the eyes of others lessen the awfulness of what he had done. He was in the box trying to save his own skin."
Steenkamp also describes at length the pain of seven months of tortured court hearings, culminating in a verdict which the state has described as “shockingly light” and will appeal.
“I felt let down by the justice system..."
She described Pistorius’s account of events as “vague, evasive and shifty.”
“I was so shocked that he was actually standing there saying not guilty to every single charge. How could he say that when Reeva is dead and he shot her?”
“He has to live for the rest of his life with the knowledge of what he’s done.”
The book is available in print as well as in digital format on Amazon Kindle.
Photo caption: Reeva Steenkamp's mother, June at the trial of Pistorius at Pretoria High Court.
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