‘I’m so sorry for your loss’

2014-03-09 14:00

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It was a chance encounter in the court bathroom that saw Carl Pistorius reaching out to the family of Reeva Steenkamp.

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” said Carl to Dion Martin, the husband of Reeva’s cousin, Kim Martin.

The encounter between the two men took place at the urinals of Court D’s bathrooms during a break in the trial on Thursday.

Just minutes earlier in court, a visibly emotional Aimee ­Pistorius, Oscar’s sister, approached the Martins, the only two members of the Steenkamp family who represented the family from Tuesday onwards.

Reeva’s mother, June, spent only Monday in court.

She conducted an interview with British TV station, ITV, and left Pretoria to return to her home and her husband, ­Barry, in Port Elizabeth.

The Martins left on Thursday evening. City Press understands that it is simply too expensive for the entire Steenkamp family to remain in Gauteng for the duration of the trial.

In court on Thursday, Aimee huddled close to Kim, the two talking for about 10 minutes before Oscar’s sister walked away with tears in her eyes.

“She told Kim [Martin] she was sorry. It could be a PR move as all the media was watching, but she seemed genuine,” a source close to the family told City Press.

On Tuesday, Oscar pointedly made eye contact with Kim –?the only one of Reeva’s family members he had met during their relationship.

This was after he avoided making contact with June Steenkamp the previous day.

June ?Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp

June had earlier told the UK’s Mail on Sunday that she wanted Pistorius to look her in the eye.

Pistorius was not the only person who June Steenkamp was upset with in court on Monday.

City Press understands that she was very unhappy with the Myers family, including Reeva’s close friend Gina.

She believes the Myers family tried to appropriate Reeva for themselves after her death.

When Gina’s mother, Desiree, tried to approach her in court on Monday, June Steenkamp deliberately ignored her.

One of Reeva’s close relatives told City Press that relations between the Pistorius and the Steenkamp families were strained, but that the Steenkamps did not bear grudges.

On Monday, Beeld reported that after the court adjourned on Monday, June Steenkamp was standing, holding an umbrella at one of the bus stops outside the court.

Carl and two of his aunts, Sonia Grobler and Loïs Pistorius, were standing on the pavement waiting for Oscar to leave the building.

Steenkamp saw Carl and his two aunts and asked one of her friends or family members whether they were related to Oscar.

Grobler made eye contact with Steenkamp and squeezed her arm lightly.

Loïs Pistorius then reached out and squeezed June’s hands.

Carl and June also made eye contact and Carl put his arms around her and held his cheek against hers.

For a moment, they stood together without saying a word.

A Steenkamp family friend said June appreciated the small gesture immensely and said she felt sorry for the Pistoriuses.

“June has no hate in her heart for the Pistorius family or for Oscar. She just wants to know the truth; she just wants to know what happened,” the friend said.

Many international media houses reported on the first day of the trial that Pistorius seemed distant and unmoved, but this soon changed.

On Wednesday, a hush descended on the court when ­radiologist and neighbour Dr Johan Stipp testified about being the first medic to arrive at Pistorius’ house where he encountered a “mortally wounded” Steenkamp, the last signs of life leaving her body.

Pistorius slumped in the dock, his body wracked with sobs as he leant his head forward against the front of the dock.

Pistorius kept his hands on top of his head, as if to shield himself from the testimony which forced him to relive the events of that morning.

On Friday, Pistorius also approached three ANC Women’s League members who had been sitting with the Steenkamp family, shaking their hands and greeting them politely.

» Watch/listen to the trial live on our homepage at www.citypress.co.za. Follow Charl du Plessis and Biénne Huisman’s coverage here. And on Twitter: @City_Press

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