Reeva’s family back in court tomorrow

2014-03-16 14:00

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Tomorrow, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June, cousin Kim Martin and her husband Dion will return to the North Gauteng High Court after questions were raised about why they haven’t been attending the trial.

As grim details were revealed this week about how Steenkamp died, local and international media have been asking why her family left court so soon after the trial began.

Oscar Pistorius’ family have been in court every day – his uncle Arnold, aunt Lois, sister Aimee and brother Carl have been sitting behind him offering emotional support.

This week, Aimee handed her brother tissues as he wept and vomited during testimony by forensic experts.

Speculation about the family’s whereabouts sparked the ire of close family friends this week.

Insiders told City Press it’s tough financially for Reeva’s family who are from Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to travel to Gauteng and stay in Pretoria.

A close family member said the trio would return to court tomorrow.

“A very unfair thing is happening,” remarked a family friend.

“I know for a fact that the Steenkamp family desperately want to be at the trial to show support for Reeva.

“For example, Reeva’s cousin Kim Martin, who was in the courtroom last week with her husband, had to take time off work, book costly flights, accommodation and transfers to the courtroom. Kim wants to be there every day but was called back to work,” she said.

Kim and Dion have two teenage daughters and run a digital printing business in Montague Gardens, Cape Town. They live in Table View.

The Martins attended the first four days of the trial, while June Steenkamp attended just the first day before returning home to her husband Barry.

The couple live in a rented two-bedroom house.

In an interview with You Magazine this week, June Steenkamp said she is haunted by the testimony of a woman’s screams the night her daughter was killed.

“There were three people who testified in quick succession about the screams that they heard,” she said. “I simply cannot get that out of my head. When I wake up at night I hear that.”

In contrast, the Pistorius family is well-heeled.

A company search conducted last year revealed the family’s business empire spans about 90 active companies, including a private game reserve with breeding programmes for sable antelope and buffalo, a ski lodge in Austria and a mine in Limpopo.

Kim wrote a moving tribute to June, Barry and Reeva on her Facebook wall this week.

“My aunt and uncle are two of the most compassionate people I will ever know?...?My childhood and those of many other Table View kids was remarkable because of them, I will forever be grateful for their love,” she wrote.

“Reeva Steenkamp was a beautiful soul and she got it from her parents. Her beauty inside and out was a reflection of your love for her.”

Kim has described Reeva as “a sister”, saying there were no secrets between them.

Reeva’s half brother, Adam, who lives in London and works at the University of Cambridge, visited June and Barry in Port Elizabeth after Reeva died last year.

He has not attended any court proceedings.

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