Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s father, dies aged 80
The father of slain model Reeva Steenkamp died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday evening, says a foundation set up to honour his daughter.
Barry Steenkamp, 80, had been in poor health for some time. He had suffered a stroke while Oscar Pistorius was on trial for shooting Reeva on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
"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 statement read.
The father, who never stopped grieving for his youngest child, died without getting the closure he had wanted from Pistorius.
The former Paralympian athlete is half-way through a 13-year jail sentence for the death of his then girlfriend, a qualified lawyer who came to Gauteng from the Eastern Cape to pursue a modelling career.
Barry visited Pistorius in prison last year as part of a victim-offender dialogue process, at which he asked the Blade Runner to admit he deliberately opened fire on Reeva while she was hiding in the bathroom of his Pretoria home. When Pistorius stuck to his version that he believed he had been shooting at an intruder, Barry said he and June could not grant their forgiveness.
Reeva's mother June opposed Pistorius' bid for parole in March, attending the hearing at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, saying he had failed to demonstrate any remorse. Barry, a former horse trainer and pub owner in Gqeberha, was too frail to attend.
Barry's 80th birthday was celebrated in May.
In August, he and June marked what would have been Reeva's 40th birthday with a cake featuring a black and white photograph of her.
The moment was shared by the foundation, which aims to continue Reeva's work to combat gender-based violence. In her final social media posts, on the day before her death and in the days leading up to it, Reeva had spoken up against the need to protect women and children and had been booked to speak at a school about GBV.
Barry is survived by June and his son Adam from his first marriage. He also had a stepdaughter, Simone Cowburn, who is June's elder daughter from her first marriage.
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