23 Mar 2015

Mother committed to Reeva Steenkamp's legacy

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 23 March 2015

June Steenkamp and book cover

Her face is instantly recognisable. But it’s not the epitaph any parent would want.

Reeva Steenkamp, qualified lawyer and professional model, was shot and killed by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius in his home in Pretoria, South Africa, a little over two years ago.

He was already famous as the “Blade Runner”; the athlete who defied his disability to take on the best in the world.

For Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, the loss of her 29-year-old daughter in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013 was “the beginning of a nightmare”.

Her book - Reeva - A Mother's Story - begins with those words.

Pistorius admitted shooting Reeva, but said he mistook her for an intruder before firing four shots through the bathroom door.

He pleaded not guilty to murder but was convicted of culpable homicide, similar to manslaughter, and jailed for five years.

June and Barry Steenkamp attended the lengthy, emotionally-charged trial poring over “every piece of evidence” to figure what had happened in the lead up to their daughter’s death.

"We want to find some comfort from being able to think our daughter died without suffering," June Steenkamp said.

 At times, it was too much.

"My distress became uncontainable… the trial phase is over, but we don't have closure."

The Steenkamp family is focused on establishing a trust in Reeva’s name to help build a women’s shelter in Port Elizabeth.

June Steenkamp talks on Nine to Noon.

June Steenkamp will speak at an event, hosted by the charity Shine, about domestic violence in Auckland this Saturday (March 28).


If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse call Shine’s national helpline on 0508 744 633 (9am to 11pm, 7 days a week) or visit www.2shine.org.nz