Barry Steenkamp, father of the murdered Reeva Steenkamp, died on Thursday evening.
Steenkamp (80) died suddenly and peacefully in his sleep on Thursday evening, the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation confirmed.
“Barry was a blessing to many, and he will be remembered with love and great tenderness. We find comfort in knowing that he is now with his beloved Reeva,” the foundation said.
He is survived by June Steenkamp, his wife and Reeva’s mother. Reeva was the couple’s only child together.
Ten years ago, on 14 February 2013, Reeva was shot dead by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, a former Paralympic athlete, at his home in Pretoria. He argued that he mistook her for a burglar.
In 2017, the Court of Appeal set aside Pistorius’ initial sentence of six years for murder and replaced it with a sentence of 13 years and five months.
Earlier this year, during the tenth anniversary of Reeva’s death, Barry and June went to Pollock beach in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) again to place roses in the sea and light a candle in memory of their beloved daughter. This is the beach where Reeva’s ashes were scattered. The Steenkamp couple have done this every year since Reeva’s death.
Earlier this year, Barry also had the very first time with the British newspaper the Daily Mail talked about his meeting with Pistorius.
Barry won Oscar last July in the St. Albans Prison squarely in the eye and asked what exactly happened on the night of Reeva’s death.
According to Barry, Oscar cried like a baby during the meeting and still denied that he shot Reeva on purpose. He sticks to the story that it was a burglar.
“Barry went to find out the truth but didn’t find it. He doesn’t believe Oscar told him the truth,” the Steenkamps’ lawyer, Tania Koen, said at the time.
Meanwhile, Pistorius’ fight to be released on parole continues. Last month, Pistorius turned to the highest court in the country to clear up the confusion regarding his parole and to be released on parole.
Pistorius claims in court documents that his rights are being violated as he has – according to him – already served more than half of his sentence and should already be eligible for parole.
Pistorius’ application for parole was rejected at the end of March because he apparently did not complete the minimum period of detention. The Department of Correctional Services (DKD) initially indicated that Pistorius had served more than half of his sentence and was eligible for parole, only to later announce that he would in fact only qualify for parole in August 2024.