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Reeva Steenkamp with her Joburg dad Cecil Myers. (City Press)
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Hanlie Retief, Rapport
Johannesburg - He was always there for her. She always called him if she was in trouble.
When her car broke down, he was the one who went out to help. My Joburg dad,
she called him.
Last Friday, Cecil Myers was there for Reeva Steenkamp for the last time.
He had to identify her body.
Steenkamp was killed by three shots from the 9mm pistol of her Paralympian-champion
boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.
Pistorius says it was a horrible mistake. The state says it was cold-
“It was terrible, I couldn’t drive myself back home,” Cecil said in an interview this week.
Reeva was like a daughter in his and his wife Desi’s house.
She had lived with them in Glenhazel, Johannesburg, since September, but she
was actually part of their family for six years – their daughter Gina’s best
Cecil met Reeva’s father for the first time at her funeral in Port Elizabeth
“Her father introduced me to friends as ‘Reeva’s Joburg father’. He kept
thanking me for being so kind to his daughter in Johannesburg, for looking
He laughs bitterly.
Reeva was the victim
“But how well did I look after her? She was shot.”
Two images in the past week, two fathers involved in the same tragedy: Henke
Pistorius right behind Oscar in court, tension and worry clearly evident on his
And on the other side, away from the cameras, the private grief, dismay and
anger of Cecil Myers.
Cecil has now spoken about the tragedy for the first time.
“I’m talking because everywhere you go, it’s just Oscar, Oscar. But Reeva
was the victim, her voice must be heard too. People must know who Reeva
The Myers knew Oscar well. It was at their door that Oscar rang the bell the
first time he took Reeva out. It was from this suburban house that the celeb
The last time Cecil and Desi heard from Reeva was late on Wednesday night,
just hours before her death.
“I’ve got this thing with all three children (Reeva, and his daughters, Kim
and Gina), if they don’t come home at night, they must text me. Then Reeva sent
the (SMS) message: ‘Hi guys, I’m too tired. It’s too far to drive. I’m sleeping
at Oscar’s tonight. See you tomorrow.’
“Tomorrow never dawned for her... I have nightmares at night thinking how
frightened she must have been. Can you imagine how terrified she was?
“That was the last SMS from her phone, probably about ten, ten thirty – the
time they usually SMS.”
Early in the morning they got the news. “Gina was hysterical. She started
screaming in her room: ‘Reeva is dead!’”
Cecil, Kim and his son David went to the Boschkop Police Station to identify
the body. It was a chaotic morning.
In the confusion, they got lost, and, when they finally arrived, they had to
dodge the media and were then told the body had been taken to Bronkhorstspruit.
In addition, the pathology professor had postponed the identification to the
next day because no one was allowed to touch her body before the autopsy.
“We then followed the detective to Oscar’s house to collect Reeva’s car and
belongings. What a nightmare.”
The terror is audible in his voice.
A lot of blood
“At his house there were probably 20 policemen. I stuck my head in at the
front door, saw a lot of blood on the floor of the entrance hall, and up the
He remembers every detail of the identification at precisely 10:40 that
“We looked at her through a glass window. She was...you know...the
way someone looks who has been shot.The police tried to make it easier
They said when we knocked against the window, they would take her out
immediately to the van in which they then took her to Port Elizabeth.
“Luckily my son was there for me, because I broke down. The way she
looked...that will remain with me forever.”
Cecil blames himself, wondering what he could have done to have kept Reeva
safe, to have prevented this tragedy. It’s eating him up.
He’s overprotective of his daughters, he admits. “What father isn’t? I hate
it when they go out alone at night. But what can you do? If I could have my
way, they would never go out at night.
“That’s the worst for me: if Reeva had rather taken a chance and driven home
that night? I should’ve texted her back: We’ll meet you halfway, then Desi
and I will drive your car back. Then she would have been safe now.”
Only Oscar knows what happened, he says. “She can’t tell us any more.”
He believes the truth will come out.
“Whatever happens, whether he goes to jail or not he can rot in hell.
His conscience will get the better of him.”
Is he convinced Oscar is guilty of murder?
My little girl
“She was my little girl, and he shot her four times from behind a closed
door. One shot may have been a mistake – but four times?”
Cecil doesn’t want to watch TV any more.
He wakes up in the morning, goes to work, tries to keep his head clear, but
then it hits him: “Newspaper headlines, posters – but where are the headlines
that say Reeva was a good, good person?
“What a decent child. Her career was just starting to take off – I
still teased her and said she would need a lawyer to handle her contracts, but
she replied: ‘Got it covered’. She was a lawyer herself!”
Now he is the executor of her estate. “The sad wrap-up of a beautiful young
woman who hadn’t even started her life yet.”
Reeva always spoiled her “dad” Cecil with two large choc chip yoghurts from
Woolies – she knew well how much he liked them, he laughs.
And to her, as for his own daughters, he was always quick to tell them
before a big date: “You don’t look good. Put on some other clothes.” Or: “Mmm,
a million dollars! Enjoy your evening, but be careful.”
Just days before her death, Gina remembers, she was busy in the kitchen when
she heard her father and Reeva talking about abuse of women and Black Friday.
“Reeva was determined to make a difference, to help abused women,” Cecil
“How ironic, the violence of her own death. What she stood for was the end
If Oscar was sitting opposite him now, what would he ask?
Charming in the beginning
“Why, Oscar, why did you do it? I wouldn’t do anything to him, because when
it’s finished and done, he must live with it.
“I hope he gets a long sentence. Gets what he deserves. People will stay
away from him now. Women too, they will be too afraid, no girl wants her a**e
“And if my daughter wanted to go out with him, the pawpaw would hit the
“I have a printing business, and I had large, framed photographs of Oscar
and myself. I smashed them all. I don’t want to know anything about him.”
What was Oscar like?
“Moody, I think. Very nice and charming to us when they started dating. Then
he always came in to say hello. But when they began to date steadily, he just
dropped her and picked her up. That’s not right. I call it respect. If you’re
in a relationship and you pick up the ‘daughter’ in the house, at least come in
and say hello.”
Cecil remembers their first date, shortly after she broke up with her former
“She went with Oscar to a sports-awards evening. And after that he wouldn’t
leave her alone. He kept pestering her, phoning and phoning and phoning her.
“Oscar was hasty and impatient and very moody – that’s my impression of him.
“She told me he pushed her a bit into a corner. She felt caged in. I told
her I would talk to him. I told him not to force himself on her. Back off.
He agreed, but his face showed me what he was thinking: ‘Oh, this guy is
Oscar's dark side
He did cool down a bit. Then they started going out steadily, and she was
more at his home.
“I once talked to her about Oscar’s moodiness. She didn’t answer me.”
The day before Valentine’s Day Cecil helped Reeva choose photos she wanted
to have framed to give to Oscar as a Valentine’s Day present.
“What a Valentine’s Day.”
He takes Oscar’s testimony that he and Reeva were madly in love with a pinch
of salt. “I think she loved him, but it was no massive love affair.”
Was he ever worried about Reeva and Oscar?
“My answer to that is ‘no comment’, and that’s probably enough of an answer.
There’s a dark side to him. And all we’re left with now is a huge emptiness.”
Visit News24's Oscar Pistorius Special Report.
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Sifundo Ndzube says...
that time has passed mother hel,money shall never buy the born frees. why should we get money we didnt work for? i for one will never let you fool the youth of the free south africa,you say all these lies because d.a cares for interlectuals only and you vivid thst unemployed youth is mostly of illitarate black south africans
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