I had to be Reeva’s voice – Kim Martin

2014-10-15 15:19

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Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin Kim Martin said she decided to testify in the sentencing procedures of Oscar Pistorius because the law graduate needed a voice.

“I knew I had to be here, I had to do this. I had to do this for Reeva. I owe her this,” an emotional Martin said today.

“I know Reeva needs a voice. My way of looking at this is to pay her back for what she meant to me.”

Martin said she spoke to Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry today because she was worried she would disappoint them when she took the stand and spoke about family matters.

She said Barry told her that she could never disappoint them and that she had their blessing and needed to be “Reeva’s voice”.

According to Martin, Barry said he would “just lose it” if he had to take the stand.

Martin told the court that Steenkamp’s death had affected her and she was on medication for depression and anxiety. Her children also received therapy.

“My daughter has even been in an institution for youth for coping mechanisms,” she said.

“Her and Reeva were very close and she couldn’t cope with this.”

Martin also said Pistorius seemed shy and did not show much affection towards Steenkamp.

“I still remember thinking ’he’s just standing there’. He came across as quite shy,” Martin said.

Martin was recounting first meeting Pistorius in Cape Town in January 2013, a month before Steenkamp was killed, and said how nervous and excited she was to meet someone famous.

She, Steenkamp, Pistorius and a few other relatives went to a restaurant, got a table, and were subjected to bad Cape Town service.

“I remember thinking that Oscar is getting a little bit agitated and I thought ‘he’s not used to the Cape Town service’.”

Her opinion of Pistorius changed to “nice person” when he gave her daughter advice about boarding school, Martin said.

“But I didn’t notice much affection,” she said of the interaction between Pistorius and Steenkamp.

When Pistorius got up to take a phone call, Martin asked her cousin “are you happy?”


“She pulled her shoulders and said ‘yes, but we need to talk’.”

Martin said she never had a chance to follow up on the conversation.

“That has bothered me forever since then.”

Nel asked that the matter adjourn to tomorrow.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, said of his plans for Martin for tomorrow: “I’m just going to ask two short questions. I’m not going to cross-examine [her].”

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