I am Reeva's voice, cousin tells court

2014-10-15 16:41
(File: Garreth Barclay)

(File: Garreth Barclay)

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Pretoria - Reeva Steenkamp's cousin decided to testify in the sentencing procedures of Oscar Pistorius because the law graduate needed a voice, Kim Martin said in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"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.

"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 on Tuesday 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.

On 12 September, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on for the Valentine’s Day 2013, shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse. The court found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

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."

As she spoke, Pistorius sat in the dock looking down.

Pistorius was found guilty of firing a pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013 and not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein on 30 September 2012.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime

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