Reeva Steenkamp's folks seek millions from Oscar Pistorius - Times LIVE
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Reeva Steenkamp's folks seek millions from Oscar Pistorius

WERNER SWART | 2014-01-22 14:43:14.0
The late Reeva Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry
Image by: Sunday Times

Reeva Steenkamp's parents now run a pub to "try and make a living".

This is while their lawyers are locked in talks with Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's legal team about an out-of-court settlement that could bring them more than R2-million.

Barry and June Steenkamp have not served summons on Pistorius to demand compensation for the death of their daughter, whom the athlete shot and killed at his home in Pretoria last year.

Pistorius has been charged with premeditated murder for the Valentine's Day shooting.

He has maintained his innocence, claiming he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

Barry Steenkamp would not say much when tracked down at his new business, a small pub called The Barking Spider, in Greenbushes outside Port Elizabeth.

"We are doing OK, but we know things are now going to start picking up again," a tired-looking Barry said, referring to the upcoming first anniversary of his daughter's death and the trial that is set to start in March.

Media interest and the arrival of scores of photographers at their former home in nearby Seaview prompted the Steenkamps to move.

Barry said the attention had been overwhelming. "That is why we left - because of all the media and attention."

They couple took over the pub, situated behind the Greenbushes Hotel, a few months ago. It features horse-racing memorabilia from Barry's days as a racehorse trainer.

The toilets for women and men are labelled "Fillies" and "Colts". Portraits, including some of Barry next to his winning horses, wait to be hung on the wall.

The chalkboard menu features a "Barry Breakfast" for R20. Outside, posters boast of the establishment's Sunday lunches.

There is not a single photograph of Reeva in sight.

Her family scattered her ashes at Summerstrand in Port Elizabeth - and the lack of pictures at their new business may be an attempt to try to avoid a daily reminder that their daughter is gone forever.

A barlady at a nearby pub said people knew better than to ask the couple questions about Reeva.

"After what they've been through, we don't ask questions about her. You respect their privacy," she said.

Locals at some of the surrounding establishments said they understood the Steenkamps had bought the pub with money they were paid for exclusive interviews with foreign media.

Both Barry and June are still under contract with a UK-based company to handle all media interviews.

Advocate Dup de Bruyn, who is representing the Steenkamps, said talks were continuing with Pistorius about a settlement.

The Steenkamps are demanding compensation for loss of income and for the emotional trauma their daughter's death caused.

"They started the pub because they need to make a living. I can tell you we are still in talks with the Pistorius legal team about compensation ... We have not served summons yet because we are trying to reach a settlement," said De Bruyn.

He would not say how much money the Steenkamps were asking for, although well-placed sources said it was between R2-million and R3-million.

It is known that Reeva supported her parents financially and once even reconnected their satellite television service so they could watch her on a TV show.

Pistorius, the double-amputee who ran his way into the history books by competing against able-bodied athletes, is out on bail of R1-million and has in the past few months been spotted holidaying in Hermanus in the Western Cape and Inhambane in Mozambique.



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