The late Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin, Kim Martin has said she is frightened of Oscar Pistorius and believes his public apology to her family was a sham, and that the athlete deserves significant time in prison.
Martin told the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa on Thursday morning that she thought Pistorius’ well-publicised apology to the Steenkamp family in court in the early part of the trial was not genuine.
She said she was fearful of Pistorius and tried hard to put him out of her mind, as she didn’t enjoy thinking about him. She said the athlete needs to pay for what he had done.
Martin added that the family didn’t necessarily want revenge, but shooting an unarmed person behind a closed door is behaviour that should be punished, if the conditions in prison were humane. “Everybody has suffered here and we need to send a message to the society that you can’t do this or get away with it,” Martin told a South African news portal, iol.co.za with a quiver in her voice.
In his re-examination, defence advocate Barry Roux only inquired about Martin’s claims that Steenkamp did not spend Christmas and New Year eve with her family as she normally would. Roux told the court that on Christmas, she went to dinner with Pistorius. He also told the court that Pistorius had sent letters to the Steenkamp family with apologies.
Roux lastly put it to Martin that Pistorius desperately wanted to meet with Steenkamp’s family to formally and personally apologise. On Wednesday, an intimate summary of Steenkamp’s life was finally given to the court by Martin, clarifying her image beyond that of just a young model.
And for the first time during the testimony, Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry, broke down in the court gallery. Steenkamp’s cousin is the first of at least three witnesses set to be called by the State to try to convince Judge Thokozile Masipa to provide a harsh sentence for Pistorius, who was last month found guilty of culpable homicide for Steenkamp’s death.