Reeva Steenkamp 1 year on: still ‘the queen of our hearts’

2014-02-09 14:00

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Exactly a year ago today, just five days before Valentine’s Day, Reeva Steenkamp retweeted: “When you fall in love with someone’s personality, everything about them becomes beautiful.”

Valentine’s Day, says her ­cousin Kim Martin, was one of Steenkamp’s favourite days.

But on Friday, Steenkamp’s family will not be celebrating; they will be marking one year since the 29-year-old model was shot dead in the ­bathroom of her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius’ ­mansion.

Martin, who lives in Cape Town, says she is still heartbroken.

“It is going to be such a hard day. It was one of Reeva’s favourite days,” she says. Martin last saw Steenkamp when she met the model and the Paralympian at the Ons Huisie ­Restaurant in Bloubergstrand for lunch on ­January?2 last year.

She said Steenkamp’s family, who live in Cape Town, will gather on Friday “to comfort each ­other”.

They will probably have banana bread for ­dessert?–?one of Steenkamp’s favourite treats.

Steenkamp’s friend and former housemate, make-up artist Gina ­Myers, has spoken about Steenkamp’s culinary skills and particularly of her banana bread-baking skills.

Steenkamp was living with Myers’ family in Johannesburg at the time of her death. Myers is one of 107 state witnesses who have been called to testify against Pistorius at his trial.

Elsewhere, Steenkamp’s parents appear to be trying to move on. Financially embattled Barry and June Steenkamp have opened a small pub in Port Elizabeth called The Barking Spider (with toilets ­labelled “colts” and “fillies”).

Barry Steenkamp has resumed his career in training thoroughbred racehorses.

A source close to the family said Barry?–?known to his friends as “Bear”?–?has built himself new horse stables with meadows on the outskirts of the city. His new ­business is called Barry Steenkamp Racing.

Reeva was an avid horse rider until she broke her back in a fall and had to learn to walk again in her early 20s.

It is unclear how the Steenkamps are funding their new ventures because they are refusing to give interviews to the media. Their lawyer, Advocate Dup de Bruyn, has ­confirmed there are out-of-court settlement talks running into millions with Pistorius’ legal team.

Steenkamp’s half-brother, Adam, who lives in London and works at the University of Cambridge, visited his parents in Port Elizabeth after the ­shooting.

It is not clear if he will travel to South Africa for the trial, which begins in the North Gauteng High Court on March 3. Martin says she is still undecided about whether she will attend Pistorius’ trial and says she wants to do “what Reeva would have wanted”.

Court documents state that on the night Steenkamp was killed, ­witnesses at Pistorius’ up-market Pretoria home heard a woman scream, “followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and more screaming”. They also confirmed that the “deceased had locked ­herself in the toilet cubicle”.

Pistorius’ lawyers will argue that the Paralympian star believed there was an intruder in his bathroom and did not know he was shooting at his girlfriend.

Exactly a year ago today, just five days before Valentine’s Day, Reeva Steenkamp retweeted: “When you fall in love with someone’s personality everything about them becomes beautiful.”

Valentine’s Day, says her cousin Kim Martin, was one of Steenkamp’s favourite days.

But this February 14, Steenkamp’s family won’t be celebrating – they’ll be marking one year since the 29-year-old model was shot dead in her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom.

Steenkamp’s cousin, Kim Martin, who lives in Cape Town, is still heartbroken.

“It’s going to be such a hard day, it was one of Reeva’s favourite days,” she said.

Martin last saw Steenkamp alive when she met Steenkamp and Pistorius at the Ons Huise beachfront restaurant in Bloubergstrand for lunch on January 2 2013.

She said Steenkamp’s family who live in Cape Town will gather on Friday “to comfort each other”.

They will probably have banana bread for dessert, as this was one of Steenkamp’s favourite dishes. Steenkamp’s friend and ex-housemate, Joburg-based make-up artist Gina Myers, has spoken about Steenkamp’s culinary finesse – and particularly of her banana bread baking skills.

Myers, with whose family Steenkamp was living in Johannesburg at the time of her death, is one of 107 state witnesses called to testify against Pistorius at his trial.

Elsewhere, Steenkamp’s parents appear to be trying to move on.

The model’s financially-embattled parents have opened a small pub in Port Elizabeth called The Barking Spider (with toilets labeled “colts” and “fillies”) and her father, Barry Steenkamp, has resumed his career in thoroughbred horse training.

A source close to the family said Barry – known to friends as “Bear” – has built himself new horse stables with meadows on the outskirts of the city.

His new business is called “Barry Steenkamp Racing”. Steenkamp was an avid horse rider herself until she broke her back in a fall and had to learn to walk again in her early twenties.

It is unclear how the Steenkamps are funding their new ventures, as they are refusing to give media interviews. Their lawyer, Advocate Dup de Bruyn, has confirmed out-of-court settlement talks running into millions with Pistorius’s legal team.

Steenkamp’s half-brother, Adam, who lives in London and works at the University of Cambridge, visited June and Barry in Port Elizabeth after the murder last year. It is not clear whether he will travel to South Africa for the trial, which begins on March 3 in the North Gauteng High Court.

Martin said she was still undecided about whether she’d attend Pistorius’ trial, and says she wants to do “what Reeva would have wanted”.

Court documents state that on the night Steenkamp was killed, witnesses at Pistorius’ upmarket Pretoria home heard a woman scream, “followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and more screaming”.

It also confirms that the “deceased had locked herself in the toilet cubicle”.

Pistorius’ lawyers will argue that the Paralympian star believed there was an intruder in his bathroom and did not know he was shooting at his girlfriend.

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