Reeva Steenkamp was murdered by her boyfriend, world-famous Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius. In what turned out to be his last interview, Reeva’s father Barry told Correspondent.World why he would die of a broken heart.19 September 2023
By Paul Martin. Exclusive
In what turned out to be his last interview, Reeva’ Steenkamp’s father Barry told Correspondent. World why he would die of a broken heart.
We had spoken ten years to the day after the megastar Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend dead.
“Our hearts are broken.”
“We want to be with Reeva, and join her wherever she is” June and
Barry Steenkamp had told Correspondent.World.
“Our hearts are broken.”
British-born Barry, 80, has died in their remote home on South
Africa’s southern coast, on 13 September 2023. He left behind his mourning wife, and
also his two deeply-loved big dogs, and a horse that roams his garden.
Barry had been a successful horse-race trainer at a nearby racecourse.
Reeva’s first serious boyfriend was one of Barry’s jockeys.
But since the death of his daughter in 2013 his health deteriorated, severely
affecting his walking and his breathing.
He had managed to buy a local pub, where he often sat drinking and chatting. Showing his
sense of fun and his devotion to horses, Barry insisted that the signs
on the male and female toilets should read: “Fillies” and “Stallions”.
When he sold the pub a couple of years ago, the new owner left the
toilet signs there — as a tribute to the popular Englishman, who
continued to pop in for a drink.
When I met him in the car-park near Summerstrand beach on
February 14, Barry was still able to make jokes about his condition
(“I think I’ll sprint now into the sea”).
He had driven there forwhat would be a solemn seaside memorial to Reeva on Valentine’s Day.
In a low-key private ceremony, at which I was the only
outsider invited, Barry was able to walk from his 4 by 4 to sit on
a cement bench, as he watched June flinging red roses into the Indian Ocean — at
the same spot where she and Barry had cast Reeva’s ashes soon after
“Reeva was the perfect daughter, and a real Mummy’s girl,” said Barry.
“She would always look after us before she went to Johannesburg or
Pretoria for her modelling work.” June added: “She would make a list of what each
of us had to do to stay healthy and keep things running smoothly.”
Barry had shown enormous courage when he chose to meet with Reeva’s
killer as part of an official reconciliation [process. “I never felt
what he told me was the truth,” said Barry, “so I can never forgive
Both opposed letting him out on parole. The parole board also rejected
parole when the country’s Appeal Court ruled that his time behind bars
before the guilty verdict did not count. That means Pistorius, whose
sentence was extended to 13 years, is only eligible for
parole some time next year.
Barry and June had already told their lawyer they would not oppose
bail at the next hearing, but June says even when Pistorius is set
free she has no desire to see him.
The couple have survived financially on payments made by a documentary
and by charging for some interviews.
I witnessed a behind-the-scenes meeting during Pistorius’s trial.
Barry spoke with the father of another young female model murdered by
her boyfriend, as June met the other murder victim’s mother. Together
they demanded a change in South African males’ attitudes to women.
The two murder trials were running alongside each other in Pretoria’s
high courts. Yet while Pistorius was in the glare of world media
attention, the other trial got very little publicity in South Africa,
possibly because the murder victim was black and the murderer was not
a world-renowned sportsman.
Announcing Barry’s death, the Foundation set up by June and Barry said on its Facebook page:
“Barry was a blessing to many, and he will be remembered with love and
great fondness. We find solace in the knowledge that he is now with
his beloved Reeva.”
The Facebook account recently carried a poignant and moving photo of a
round pink-rimmed birthday cake with Reeva’s face emblazoned on it, as
her parents sat around in front of balloon hearts and stars. Large
balloons showed she would have been 40.
A banner said Happy Birthday. But it clearly wasn’t.