June Steenkamp: I didn't want to accept money from Oscar Pistorius, but we had to eat

The mother of Reeva Steenkamp said the family “didn’t have much choice”

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The Independent Online

Reeva Steenkamp’s family were forced to accept “blood money” from Oscar Pistorius because of their difficult financial situation, not out of choice, the model's mother has claimed.

Steenkamp’s father, Barry, suffered a stroke two months after his daughter’s death and he and his wife, June, were evicted from their home after their landlord learned that they were bankrupt.

Pistorius – who is currently in prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp – has been paying his late girlfriend’s parents £340 every month since March 2013. They rejected his offer of a £21,000 payment from the sale of his car.

“We didn’t have much choice,” said June Steenkamp. “We were in such a bad way; we didn’t even have food on the table. It was that or starve.

“I wasn’t happy about it and it did make me uncomfortable. But we are going to pay back every single cent.

“That’s how I look at it and live with it now.”

She says that the family are now in a position to say “we don’t want any money from him”.

“My child was priceless,” The Mirror has quoted her as saying. “He can’t buy her life.”

June Steenkamp has recently offered her own version of events what happened the night Pistorius fatally shot her 29-year-old daughter on Valentine’s Day 2013 in her new book, Reeva: A Mother’s Story.

Contrary to the Paralympian’s account that he thought the model was an intruder breaking into his house, Steenkamp suggests that her daughter’s death could have been caused because she tried to leave Pistorius.

“Oscar's story I don't believe,” Steenkamp wrote in the book.

“Not one of his actions suggests he felt protective towards her. They had a fight, a horrible argument, and she fled to the bathroom with her mobile and locked the door.

“I think he may have shot once and then he had to go on and kill her because she would have been able to tell the world what really happened, what he is really like.”

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Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide after fatally shooting Steenkamp. In October, he was sentenced to five years in prison, although legal experts predict that he could only serve 10 months behind bars and will spend the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

The prosecution’s application appealing against Pistorius’ sentence and culpable homicide conviction will be heard on 9 December.

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