- Future girlfriend of accused murderer Oscar Pistorius beat 300 other entrants to make the top 12 of the competition
- The photographs were taken by Mark West, now 43, who described the model as a ‘diamond’
- Images emerged as the ‘Blade Runner’ returned to court yesterday on what would have been Reeva’s 30th birthday
- The 26-year-old Paralympian from South Africa was told he will face trial for her murder in March next year
13:22 EST, 20 August 2013
13:50 EST, 20 August 2013
These are the first ever modelling shots of a 15-year-old Reeva Steenkamp posing for a competition in her local newspaper.
Wearing a jet-black leather jacket, she pulls off a range of poses including beaming smiles and sterner fashion stares.
There are also images from another shoot taken a few months later on a beach in Port Elizabeth during a wedding fair.
Angelic: A portrait of Reeva Steenkamp and a young girl on the beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa when the aspiring model was just 15 years old
The future girlfriend of accused
murderer Oscar Pistorius beat 300 other entrants to get into the top 12
of the competition, run by the now-closed Evening Post in Port
The images emerged as the ‘Blade Runner’ returned to court yesterday on what would have been Steenkamp’s 30th birthday.
He was told he will face trial for the premeditated murder of Reeva in March next year.
All of the photographs were taken by photographer Mark West, now 43, who described her as a ‘diamond’.
Model in the making: The future girlfriend of accused murderer Oscar Pistorius beat 300 other entrants to get into the top 12 of the competition
Wiping tears from his eyes, a visibly emotional Pistorius stood silently in the dock as he was formally indicted for premeditated murder at Pretoria Magistrates’ Court.
The 26-year-old Paralympian, from South Africa, is accused of shooting Ms Steenkamp to death at their home on Valentine’s night, but claims he opened fire on the 29-year-old after mistaking her for an intruder.
And after a hush finally descended on the packed courtroom, the judge set his trial to run from March 3 to March 20 next year at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Stunning: Photographs of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp in her first fashion shoot, aged 15, in Port Elizabeth, which was submitted to her local newspaper
The prosecution will present 107 witnesses, some of whom allegedly heard a woman scream, followed by ‘moments of silence, then heard gunshots and then more screaming’, the indictment says.
The state’s witnesses will include Ms Steenkamp’s close friends Desiree, Gina and Kim Myers, as well as Pistorius’ sister Aimee and his uncle Arnold.
Less than an hour after the hearing ended, Pistorius’ brother Carl tweeted a photograph of Oscar and Ms Steenkamp posing together alongside the words: ‘Remembered like yesterday. My life was impacted by u @reevasteenkamp the lady u were! Always close to our hearts.’
Before the hearing began he stood holding hands with sister Aimee and brother Carl as the three siblings prayed silently amid the commotion of the courtroom.
Friends of Ms Steenkamp were also in court.
Beautiful: There are also images from a shoot a few months later on a beach in Port Elizabeth, taken at a wedding fair
When asked by Magistrate Desmond Nair if he was well, he replied quietly: ‘Under the circumstances, your honour.’
But as proceedings were postponed, the BBC’s Andrew Harding claimed to have shaken his hand and asked how he was, to which Pistorius apparently shook his head and mouthed: ‘Not good.’
The six-time Paralympic sprint champion was initially charged with premeditated murder for bail purposes while police investigated the circumstances of the shooting before a finalised indictment was served on the double amputee today.
The prosecution will retain a main charge of premeditated murder. If convicted, Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison.
It has been reported that the Paralympian could face extra charges of allegedly discharging a firearm recklessly in two other incidents.
Papers presented at the court today are expected to include a witness list and detail some of the evidence police have gathered in the six months since the death of Ms Steenkamp.
Pistorius is currently on bail after a judge changed his conditions in March, allowing him to travel abroad providing he hand over his travel plans.
Happier days: This photograph of the couple was taken on November 4, 2012 during an awards ceremony in Johannesburg
The ‘Blade Runner’, who was recently spotted kayaking with friends in South Africa, has resumed a ‘low-key track routine’, according to his family.
In a statement on his website in June, they said: ‘Oscar is not contemplating a formal return to athletics and his training is not aimed at preparing for competition.
‘His focus at this time remains entirely on the court case. His family, and those close to him, have encouraged him to spend a few hours a week on the track to assist him in finding the necessary mental and emotional equilibrium to process his trauma and prepare for the trial.’
The athlete was ‘overcome with emotion’ when he pulled on his carbon fibre running blades for his first track training since Ms Steenkamp’s death, his agent Peet van Zyl said, adding that Pistorius described his return to the track as ‘bittersweet’.
Ms Steenkamp’s parents previously said they are still searching for answers.
In a television interview in June, June Steenkamp said: ‘There is only one person who knows what happened’ on the night her daughter was killed.
Meanwhile, Ms Steenkamp’s uncle has said he has already forgiven Oscar Pistorius for killing her.
Pressure: South African athlete Oscar Pistorius (left) speaks with his lawyer Kenny Oldwage before he was told he will face trial in March next year
Mike Steenkamp said the family have coped with her death by concentrating on her life rather than how she died.
Today a lawyer for Reeva Steenkamp’s parents said they are in contact with the family of Pistorius.
The communication between the two families is over a possible out-of-court settlement that would compensate the Steenkamps for the killing of their daughter by the double-amputee Olympian, according to South African press reports.
A South African newspaper reported that negotiations were initiated by Pistorius’ lawyers, who the paper said were ‘desperately trying’ to negotiate a settlement before Pistorius goes on trial in March on a charge of premeditated murder for Steenkamp’s shooting death.
Dup de Bruyn, the lawyer for the Steenkamp family, told The Associated Press that ‘the two sides are talking’ but declined to comment further because of the delicate situation.
Before her death, Steenkamp reportedly gave financial help to her parents, Barry and June.
Pistorius denies murder and says he shot Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a dangerous nighttime intruder in his house.
South Africa’s Times newspaper reported that lawyers for Pistorius had approached Steenkamp’s family, and the newspaper said Steenkamp’s parents were seeking around $300,000 for loss of income and emotional stress.
‘Pistorius’ lawyers want to settle the lawsuit before the outcome of the criminal trial, in an attempt to reduce a possible payout,’ The Times said in its front-page story.
Pistorius is already under financial pressure because of his mounting legal bills.
The Times said Kenny Oldwadge, one of Pistorius’ lawyers, ‘confirmed the discussions with Steenkamp’s family.’
‘You will understand this is a very sensitive situation,’ Oldwadge said, according to the paper.