Thinking of the pain Reeva Steenkamp went through as she was killed prompted her father to jab himself with his diabetes injection repeatedly as he thought he was “going mental”.
“At times I think of the pain Reeva went through. I didn’t know if I was going mental.
I took my diabetes injection and shoved it into my arms and stomach to see if I could feel the same pain,” a trembling Barry Steenkamp testified in the High Court in Pretoria.
His voice broke as he made jabbing motions at himself. Judge Thokozile Masipa listened with her fist clenched under her chin as the 73-year-old man told the court the effect the murder of his daughter at the hands of Oscar Pistorius had on his life. He was being questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
Nel asked him if he still thought of Reeva.
“Every day of my life. Morning, noon, and night, in the early hours of the morning. I think of her all the time,” he said.
Pistorius sat with his head up, eyes closed. As Steenkamp continued, Pistorius doubled over and covered his face with his hands.
Nel asked him what he thought when he recalled “the incident” of his daughter’s murder on February 14 2013. Steenkamp wrung his hands and said it was difficult to explain.
“I don’t wish that on any human being. It devastated us. It ended in my having a stroke. I don’t wish that on anybody in this whole world.”
He told the court he often spent the early hours of the morning sitting on his veranda, smoking and listened to his wife, June, crying.
Steenkamp told the court that he was disgusted when it became public that there had been behind-the-scenes discussions to pay him and his wife money. He said he had heard that Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux had asked that it be kept confidential.
“We were offered R350 000, R360 000 – we declined it. We didn’t want the money. I have learned to live with that now. It makes no difference. My daughter’s gone.
Steenkamp said June had forgiven him, as she felt it was the right thing to do.
“It still does not exonerate you from the crime that you committed. He must still understand that he has to pay for that.”
He said he had struggled to forgive.
“It’s been very difficult for me Sir, My Lady, to forgive, but I feel the same that Oscar has to pay for what he did. He has to pay.”
When asked how Pistorius should pay, Steenkamp said this was up to the court to decide.
Questioned briefly by Barry Roux, for Pistorius, Steenkamp said that when the time was right, he would like to talk to Pistorius.
“The time will come when I would like to talk to him.”
When court was adjourned for 30 minutes for Nel to prepare his next witness, Pistorius walked out of the witness box looking distressed. – News24