Reeva Steenkamp’s mother June says Oscar Pistorius ‘lost his temper’ before shooting her


Reeva Steenkamp’s mother has broken her silence over the release of Oscar Pistorius less than 10 years after he was jailed for killing her daughter, saying the disgraced former Olympian ‘lost his temper’ on the night he shot his girlfriend dead.

June Steenkamp today gave her first TV interview since her daughter’s killer was granted parole, telling Good Morning Britain that Pistorius ‘never told the truth’ about his crime and ‘never showed any remorse’.

The South African sprinter known as ‘the Blade Runner’ shot his 29-year-old model girlfriend through a locked bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013, claiming he mistook her for an intruder, and was sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Under South African law, inmates are eligible to apply for parole as soon as they have served half their given sentence, which Pistorius was initially denied but has now been granted.

While the former Paralympian is getting his first taste of freedom, June said in a statement after his release that she and the rest of Reeva’s family are serving a ‘life sentence’, adding today that she misses her ‘beautiful, wonderful child’ every day.

Reeva was shot and killed through a bathroom door by Oscar Pistorius on Valentine’s Day in 2013

June and her husband Barry spent years campaigning for the truth about their daughters killing to come out

June and her husband Barry spent years campaigning for the truth about their daughters killing to come out

Speaking on the ITV morning show, June, who is originally from Blackburn, Lancashire, said she understood Pistorius ‘had to come out’ at some point and that nothing could be done to bring back her daughter.

‘With him coming out, he has to come out, it’s inevitable. I realise that. We can’t keep him inside, he’s on parole now, it’s not going to make any difference to my life. 

‘He’s done what he’s done already and I can’t do anything about that and I’ve lost the most beautiful, wonderful child. And now I’ve been without her for so many years, I miss her every day.’

Pistorius, 37, has long denied that he murdered Reeva in cold blood and has insisted that shooting her was an accident as he believed there was an intruder in their home when he fired his 9mm Parabellum pistol four times through a locked toilet door.

But June and her family have always maintained that he has never told the truth about the killing, and she today called his version of events ‘pathetic’.

‘It’s a pathetic story, it’s a thought up story, I don’t think by him – in my mind, I think someone helped him with the story. It was pathetic,’ she said. 

‘He’s never told the truth, I don’t believe he’s told the truth at all, and he’s never shown any remorse so I have to accept that the law must take its course and that’s what Barry and I did,’ the heartbroken mother said.

A year before he died last September, Reeva’s father Barry Steenkamp visited Pistorius at St Albans prison in the South African coastal city of Port Elizabeth hoping to get an admission of guilt from the double-amputee ex-sprinter.

Their ‘victim-offender’ dialogue in 2022 was part of the rehabilitation programme that 37-year-old Pistorius had to undertake before being considered for parole. 

Pistorius was released after serving more than half of his prison sentence after being jailed in 2016 (Pictured in 2016)

Pistorius was released after serving more than half of his prison sentence after being jailed in 2016 (Pictured in 2016)

June Steenkamp and Barry Steenkamp, the parents of Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius

June Steenkamp and Barry Steenkamp, the parents of Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius sobbed and wailed throughout their meeting but refused to admit that he deliberately shot Reeva at his home on the luxury Silverwoods Estate in Pretoria. 

Barry gave up and walked out, believing he had once again been lied to. He died in his sleep, aged 80, in September last year after a decade of ill-health in the wake of Reeva’s death. 

Speaking about Barry visiting Pistorius, June said of the killer, who has a history of anger problems: ‘He lost his temper, he has no control over his temper and he lost his temper because [Reeva] said “I’m leaving, I don’t want to be with you”. Her clothes were packed and everything.’

When asked whether she felt Pistorius had been given enough time behind bars, June said: ‘No I don’t think he was given enough time in jail. 

‘It seemed pathetic initially when we got the six year sentence and I just felt it was too little – the judge was kind of treating him like a child almost. You know, ‘be a good boy and go home type of thing’. 

‘It was a big thing that he did, he used the ‘Black Talon’ bullets to kill her and he should have known that he would have killed her. 

‘There was no hope for her after those bullets, they go into your body and break your bones. 

‘So why would he use those bullets if he didn’t in the first place want to kill her? Because he knew that she was in the toilet because they’d had a huge argument.’

June and her husband Barry spent years campaigning for the truth about their daughters killing to come out, and grieved her loss for more than a decade. She now says she also lost her husband to the tragedy. 

Reeva Steenkamp, a successful model and qualified lawyer, was murdered by athlete Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day in 2013

Reeva Steenkamp, a successful model and qualified lawyer, was murdered by athlete Oscar Pistorius on Valentine’s Day in 2013

‘I think my husband died of a broken heart, he was very strange when he died, he just went to bed early and he just passed away in his sleep.

‘But he could not live without our daughter, she was the most wonderful person, the most loving, caring – she loved and cared for us. 

Asked how she will manage without her beloved daughter and husband, the widow said: ‘I believe in God, I try to be a good person and I love everybody but I think God has saved my life, I have lots of friends who have stood by me.

She added that as well as being helped by her faith, friends, and supportive messages from around the world, she is planning to ‘find a job to keep me busy.’

While he is no longer behind bars at Atteridgeville Prison, Pistorius will serve the remainder of his sentence – which expires in December 2029 – under strict parole conditions.



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