Reeva’s death ruined her parents - cousin


Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin, Kim Martin, has told the North Gauteng High Court that the model’s death had a profound effect on her parents as well as their family.

Speaking on behalf of the Steenkamp family during the third day of sentencing in the case of athlete Oscar Pistorius, Martin said she first heard about the shooting over the radio while driving with her husband.

“The DJ came on and said that they have received unconfirmed reports that Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend,” a clearly emotional Martin said.

“I remember saying to my husband, I hope to God he's cheating on Reeva. I kept trying to call Reeva, but she wasn't answering. I started screaming and my husband said 'calm down, we don't know anything yet”.

She described the moment as “being like the end of the word” and that everything after “was a complete blur”.

Martin also recalled that she had no idea how to face Reeva’s parents, Barry and June, after arriving at the family’s home in Port Elizabeth, after it was confirmed that she had indeed been shot. She went on to describe the scene at the Steenkamps home as chaotic and that “everyone was fighting with each other.”

“My aunt was hysterical. She was shrugging her shoulders all the time and Uncle Barry was just crying,” a tearful Martin said.

“They were so proud of her. She was their only child. This has ruined Uncle Barry and Auntie June and my whole family. We were all like, why Reeva?”

Martin went on to describe Steenkamp as a “hard working dedicated person” and that family was “very important to her”.

“She loved family gatherings. My daughters adored Reeva and fell in love with her,” said Martin, adding that Steenkamp took up modelling to look after parent, whom she gave her very first paycheck too.

Asked by State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel if he had ever met Pistorius before the shooting, Martin said that Steenkamp introduced her during breakfast at a restaurant in Cape Town on January 2nd 2013.

“I was quite nervous to meet this famous person,” Martin said, before going on to describe Pistorius as being “quite shy”.

She stated that once at the restaurant, Pistorius became agitated after continues delays with their order, admitting that the restaurant’s service had been practically woeful due to it being just after New Year’s.

“At the time, I thought he was a nice person but noted very little affection between him and Reeva,” said Martin.

“His phone rang and he excused himself for a moment. I asked her if she was happy and she said yes, but that they ‘had to talk’. He then returned. I have never been able to ask her what she meant by this and it has been bothering me ever since.”

Earlier, Nel rejected the testimony given by Pistorius’ social worker, Annette Vergeer, describing her recommendation of three year’s correctional supervision as “shockingly inappropriate”.

Nel is set to continue with his questioning of Martin tomorrow.


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