Wednesday 20 November 2019

Grief and anger as family pays tribute to their 'little angel'

Gareth Wilson Port Elizabeth

REEVA Steenkamp's brother paid tribute to his sister as the 29-year-old model was laid to rest after being shot dead by Oscar Pistorius.

More than 100 friends and family gathered for a memorial service in a chapel in Ms Steenkamp's home city of Port Elizabeth, before her body was cremated.

"There's a space missing inside all of the people that she knew that can't be filled again," said Adam Steenkamp, who gave the eulogy. "We're going to keep all the positive things that we remember and know about my sister and we will try and continue with the things that she tried to make better. We'll miss her."

Among those attending was Francois Hougaard, a Springbok rugby player, who allegedly sent social media messages to Ms Steenkamp before her death in the early hours of Valentine's Day. He has denied any connection with the case.

Mourners carried an order of service that showed a black-and-white portrait of Ms Steenkamp, with the words "God's Gift, A Child" written on the back.

Adam Steenkamp described the occasion as an opportunity to remember their "angel".

"At certain points, we were smiling whilst remembering Reeva because we only have good memories of her," he said.

After the service, the model's mother June and her father Barry left without speaking to the media. But her uncle Michael Steenkamp recalled how she had wanted to highlight the problem of violence against women.

Her death might make a difference, he hoped. "By her passing away, it actually can make a change in the lives of many people," said Mr Steenkamp.

Gavin Venter, a friend of the family, said there had been no indication that Ms Steenkamp's relationship with Pistorius was in trouble. "I asked her father, her father said: 'No, she was very happy with Oscar, there was no problem'. But maybe she was just hiding it away," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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