Port Elizabeth – For June and Barry Steenkamp, Valentine’s
Day is no longer a celebration of love – it is a day of sadness and sorrow.
They will be spending the fourth anniversary of their
daughter Reeva’s death the same way they have since 2014 – on a Port Elizabeth
beach where they and their loved ones will scatter rose petals on the water.
The murdered model’s cousin, Kim Martin, told News24 that
February 14 will never have the same meaning for them as it had before.
“It has been four years, but it feels like yesterday for
June and Barry. You never get over something like this.”
In the early hours of February 14, 2013, Paralympian Oscar
Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through the locked door of the toilet in
his Silver Woods Country Estate home. He claimed he thought there was an
intruder behind the door about to emerge and harm him, and that Reeva was still
Judge Thokozile Masipa originally sentenced Pistorius to
five years for culpable homicide. The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his
guilty verdict, and replaced it with a murder conviction.
In July last year, Masipa resentenced him and handed him a
six-year jail term. She rejected the State’s bid for leave to appeal the
sentence, which it said was too lenient.
Foundation to protest at bail application
Martin, who is also the CEO of the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp
Foundation, will be part of a group of women who will protest outside the
Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday against the bail application of Mzuvukile
He is accused of stabbing his wife, Vuyiseka Poni, to death
in Westlake on January 2.
The case struck a chord with Martin. She believed it would
be a fitting way to honour her cousin and the fight against violence.
“What happened to Reeva was a terrible thing, but she would
have wanted to make a difference to women who need a voice,” she said.
The foundation was launched on August 19 last year, which
would have been Reeva’s 33rd birthday.
The organisation is intended to help educate and empower
women and children against abuse, Martin explained.
The foundation grants an annual bursary to a student
studying family law.
June and Barry were hoping to develop a property they own
into a safe house in Port Elizabeth, Martin said.
Reeva’s parents were proud of their daughter’s legacy and
foundation, Martin said. She was sure Reeva would have felt the same.
“This is exactly what she would have wanted us to do.”