Both of their beautiful daughters were gunned down and their partners accused of their murders.
Only they can understand each other’s pain.
Yesterday, the parents of slain model Reeva Steenkamp united with those of murdered Swedish bride Anni Dewani.
The Steenkamps yesterday backed calls for Dewani to give evidence about his wife’s murder – supporting her parents’ campaign to ensure the case is not dismissed.
They are worried that Dewani may walk free on Monday without offering any defence.
On Tuesday, the Steenkamps will hear if the appeal of their daughter’s killer will be heard.
Barry Steenkamp and Vinod Hindocha spoke by phone from Port Elizabeth – where the Steenkamps live – and Cape Town, where millionaire murder-accused Shrien Dewani’s trial is under way.
They discussed the similarities in their cases.
“I’m delighted that Reeva’s parents have said they will support us and am very grateful for that,” said Hindocha.
“Mr Steenkamp and I talked about Reeva and Anni and I gave him my sympathy. Only he and I, as fathers, can properly understand the pain of losing a daughter to bullets and then experience very difficult and high-profile cases.
“Reeva’s father told me ‘we are both in the same boat’ and that I needed to be strong. He and his family had been following our case. He hoped we would get the right to hear the full case here and that he felt for us.
“I told him I’m very sorry about what happened to Reeva and I know there is to be an appeal against the judge’s decision in the Pistorius case, and they also have our support on that.”
Anni’s family is at the centre of a campaign to press Western Cape High Court Judge Jeanette Traverso to throw out Dewani’s bid to have the case dismissed on Monday.
“We just want the whole story and, after four years, not many people would deny us that,” Anish, her brother said.
“It would be disgraceful if Shrien was allowed out of South Africa without going through a full trial and telling us what happened. We need to hear his story so we can receive closure and try and move on with our lives.”
On Tuesday, the request of prosecutors to appeal against Oscar Pistorius’s manslaughter conviction and five-year prison sentence will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court.
It’s not the first time the Steenkamps have rallied with the family of a murdered woman.
Earlier this year, June Steenkamp embraced Busi Khumalo, whose daughter Zanele was raped and killed by her boyfriend.
“You always protected your daughter, like I did, but then there was that moment we were not there,” June said.
“I’m sorry for your loss. We know exactly what you are going through,” Zanele’s father, Themba Khumalo, told her.
“You know more than anybody,” June replied.
The killings, more than two years apart, put the country’s legal system under huge scrutiny as Pistorius was cleared of Reeva’s murder.
Anni was killed by a bullet to the neck – her husband is accused of masterminding and staging the shooting to look like a robbery.
Judge Traverso will decide whether the Bristol millionaire businessman can walk free with no case to answer, or whether his trial must continue.
He has applied for the charge against him to be dismissed claiming the prosecution has no evidence against him.
Steenkamp confirmed that he and his wife were supporting Anni’s parents in their bid to have the judge continue with the case, and had offered their sympathy. – Independent on Saturday