Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin says she saw her father cry for the first time ever when he learned of the model’s death as she gives evidence at Oscar Pistorius sentencing.
Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin who gave evidence at the murdered model’s ‘voice’ in an earlier court appearance is today giving evidence against Oscar Pistorius once more at a hearing to seal his fate.
In moving testimony, Kim Martin said she first saw her father cry for the first time ever when he learned of Miss Steenkamp’s death at the hands of the Paralympian.
She previously told how Miss Steenkamp’s shooting had ‘ruined our whole family’ during the runner’s sentencing hearing for manslaughter.
That conviction was upgraded to murder in December last year and punishment for that more serious crime is now being debated at the High Court in Pretoria. She told the court then that she was speaking as ‘Reeva’s voice’. An emotional Mrs Martin added: ‘I know I had to be here, I had to do this, I had to do this for Reeva, I owe her this.
She told the Judge Thokozile Masipa then that she was not seeking ‘revenge’ but wanted her relative’s killer behind bars to send ‘a message to society’
‘We just feel that to take someone’s life, to shoot someone behind a door, that is unarmed, that is harmless, needs sufficient punishment,’ she said.
She had told the court how she had harboured doubts about her cousin’s relationship with the sports star.
During a lunch where she was introduced to the star – then at the height of his family – Mrs Martin asked Reeva, ‘are you happy?’
‘She pulled her shoulders and said ‘yes, but we need to talk’,’ she told the court.
South Africa’s minimum jail term for murder is 15 years, but Pistorius’s lawyers will argue that his disability and his successful rehabilitation after spending a year behind bars already, should be taken into account and a lesser punishment handed down.
Yesterday, Mrs Martin’s uncle, Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s father, broke down repeatedly as he also shared the impact of her murder with the hearing.
Mr Steenkamp, 72, described how he repeatedly self-harmed himself with this diabetes needles in order to ‘feel some of the pain’ that his daughter had suffered as she bled to death from four gunshot wounds.