Oscar mourns Reeva

2013-02-27 00:00

FRIENDS and family joined Oscar Pistorius last night in a private memorial service for Reeva Steenkamp.

Carrying flowers, they arrived at the home of his uncle, Arnold, in Waterkloof, Pretoria, where he is staying while out on bail.

The private service was announced almost as it started in a statement on a publicity website maintained by Vuma Reputation Management.

“Oscar specifically requested the memorial service as he continues to grieve and remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner Reeva,” the statement said.

It asked the media to respect Pistorius’s privacy.

“Since it is such a sensitive issue, Oscar has asked for a private service with people who share his loss, including his family members, who knew and loved Reeva as one of their own.”

Guests embraced at the gate before going inside.

Oscar’s sister, Aimee, welcomed some of the guests.

Everyone had gone inside by the time his brother, Carl, arrived at 7 pm.

The PR company had said earlier that there is no talk yet of Pistorius beginning to train again in the near future.

Lunice Johnston, who has been appointed as the family’s official spokesperson, told sister paper Beeld yesterday that he is still at a “sensitive” stage.

“Oscar is still in deep mourning and will absolutely not start training again soon,” she said.

“He is still mourning Reeva [Steenkamp] and furthermore, out of respect for her parents, family and friends, who are all still mourning, he wouldn’t train now anyway.”

She said he will use his time on bail before his trial in June to “bond with his family”.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that Steenkamp’s death did not just rob her parents of their child, but also brought financial uncertainty.

Barry Steenkamp was for years a jockey and racehorse trainer. “All little things, but nothing that made a fortune,” he told sister paper Beeld at the weekend.

He has since given up training, but still supplies woodshavings that are used in stables.

His wife, June, helped on their rented farm and also ran a riding school, but now works as a caterer and is busy setting up a restaurant with a friend.

Reeva’s “Johannesburg father” Cecil Myers, confirmed that Reeva helped to support her parents financially from her earnings as a model.

A family member said Reeva often gave her parents money, as Barry was sometimes not paid timeously.

At the weekend, her mother spoke of the sacrifices they had made to put Reeva through a law degree at the Nelson Mandela university in Port Elizabeth.

After finishing her studies, she chose to model for a while.

Reeva’s mother June said they had to scrimp and scrape to support Reeva financially: “We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love,” she said. “We gave Reeva everything we could.”

Meanwhile, the family have appointed an advocate, Dup de Bruyn SC and an attorney, Mike Venter, to give them legal advice and handle the media.

They said they would no longer give interviews as “it has all got too much”.

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