Reeva's death 'end of world' - cousin

2014-10-15 15:30
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

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Pretoria - The death of Reeva Steenkamp was like the "end of the world" for her cousin Kim Martin, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Martin told the court during sentencing proceedings for Oscar Pistorius that she heard a report on the car radio about him shooting dead his girlfriend.

"I said 'I hope to God he's cheating on Reeva'," an emotional Martin said to questions from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

"I had no idea. I was just praying that it wasn't Reeva."

She said after they heard the news on the radio she started screaming and told her husband to turn the car around.

"I got on my phone and I tried to phone her and she wasn't answering and I started screaming."

She said her husband told her to calm down until they knew who the woman in shooting was.

When they arrived at her mother's house and she saw that she was hysterical, Martin knew it was Steenkamp.

"And it was, for me, the end of the world. Everything was a blur from there onwards," she said.

Martin said her mother said she spoke to Steenkamp's mother June, who told her it was Reeva.

She said she flew out to Port Elizabeth to be with Steenkamp's parents Barry and June.

"My aunt was hysterical... My uncle sat in the corner crying, crying, crying," she said.

"Uncle Barry's health has suffered quite a bit."

She said she could see signs of stress and trauma on June, but they remained strong and wanted to maintain their dignity.

"I think they are very strong people to cope with what they have to cope with."


Earlier Martin described Steenkamp as meticulous, hard-working and said she wanted to look after her parents.

"Reeva was a very, very hard worker. Very meticulous. She took her school work seriously," Martin said as prosecutor Gerrie Nel led her evidence in-chief in the sentencing procedures of Oscar Pistorius.

"She was a hard worker - she got that from her parents."

Martin said Steenkamp worked hard in school to get good marks so she could get a bursary to study law.

During her studies, Steenkamp was in a horse riding accident and broke her back.

She then made a conscious decision that she wanted to finish studying and pursue a modelling career to put her in a position to look after her parents who were struggling financially, Martins said.

"[It] was a big life changing experience for her."

She gave her first pay cheque from modelling to her parents to pay for her schooling.

On 12 September, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on for the Valentine's Day 2013, shooting of his girlfriend 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.

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:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime

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