The family of murdered South African model Reeva Steenkamp have revealed details of a shocking prison cell confrontation with their daughter’s murderer Oscar Pistorious.
According to the heartbroken family, they believe the Blade Runner killer should stay behind bars for life but continued to deny killing their daughter.
Barry Steenkamp said Pistorius broke down and ‘wailed like a child’ when he read out a heart-breaking letter from Reeva’s mother during their tense jail showdown.
Pistorius, who shot his 29-year-old model girlfriend Reeva four times, could taste freedom within weeks, if granted parole.
Speaking on the tenth anniversary of Reeva’s murder, Barry and June Steenkamp say they initially forgave the athlete for killing their daughter.
But since the athlete refused to admit to them that he deliberately shot Reeva, they say they are vehemently opposed to his early release.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline on the eve of the 10th anniversary of their daughter’s death, Barry and June Steenkamp say they want Pistorius to remain behind bars for the rest of his life.
Barry said: ‘I told Oscar directly that he had shot my daughter deliberately and he denied it. He stuck to his story that he thought it was an intruder.
‘After all these years we are still waiting for him to admit he did it in anger. That is all we wanted. If he told me the truth, he would have been a free man by now and I would have let the law take its course over his parole.
‘But I was wasting my time. He is a murderer. He should remain in jail.’
The South African athlete, nicknamed Blade Runner after his racing prosthetics, is serving a 13-year sentence for the infamous murder on Valentine’s Day 2013, when he claimed to have mistaken Reeva for an intruder, shooting her through the bathroom door.
In June last year Pistorius agreed to meet the Steenkamps in prison, as part of South Africa’s victim-offender dialogue programme.
He was flown from Pretoria to a detention centre close to their Port Elizabeth home.
Mr. Steenkamp, who suffers poor health, was prepared to see Pistorius and hear ‘what he had to say.’
In the end, June, 76, decided not to attend. Instead wrote a letter which she gave to her husband to be read to Pistorius.
Barry, 80, accompanied by his lawyer Tania Koen, watched Pistorius, dressed in orange prison garb, reduced to a blubbering wreck as a social worker read her devastated mother’s cri de coeur.
Mrs. Steenkamp wrote: ‘Reeva was a gift from God for me and for Barry. Oscar, you’ve taken her away from us. But you have also taken our grandchild and she will never have her wedding.
‘She will never have a wedding dress. She will never be able to use her law degree. She got 13 distinctions for her law degree. She was a clever woman, and she wasn’t just a pretty face. And you have taken everything away from her that she could have had and would have had by now.’
Mrs. Steenkamp, originally from Blackburn, Lancashire, told MailOnline she could not face Pistorius because she was concerned about not being able to hold back.
‘I couldn’t see myself going without hurting him. I didn’t want to go to jail for attacking him. That would have been a great possibility. ‘Things haven’t got better. It gets worse as the time goes by because we miss Reeva every day that she is not here with us.
‘It’s very, very stressful that she couldn’t spend our last days with us because he took her. Oscar has taken a lot away from us and from her. So now instead of getting upset, I get anger. I am angry with him. It is a horrible thing to say, but I can’t stand him.
‘I don’t think that he got enough time and if somebody takes a life they must pay with their life in jail. He has taken her life away from us. Everything that we would have had with the joyfulness of having her.
Reeva was a wonderful daughter, and she never made a wrong move in her life. She never stressed us out with anything. She was just a perfect person and a loving person for both of us. That has gone, but we think of her all the time. Those are the hardest of things. She wanted to have children and she wanted to get married. But she got involved with the wrong person.
‘I have become another person too. People ask me what defines me, and it is Reeva’s death. I am not the same person. I feel that and when I look in the mirror, I am not seeing me. I have lost the big something in my life. It is too much. She was everything to us. She was our whole life and now we haven’t got her anymore.
‘He never showed any remorse to Barry���� whatsoever. He is a murderer. She said she also rejected meeting Pistorius on medical advice because of the further anxiety it might have caused her.
‘I was very stressed and knew it would be a waste of time. Barry was in a state, and he had to be strong. I said I couldn’t be responsible if I went because I might hurt him as I can’t stand him now. I hate him. I can’t help it.
‘He took away the only thing that really mattered to me in my life. Such a big thing that he took away. He assassinated her. That is what he did. I did say that I forgave him before, but only because I am a Christian. I only forgave him because God would have wanted me to. I did back then . . . but I take it back now. He has done too much to us.
‘It drives me crazy too that, ten years on, he can’t accept what he did. He is spoilt and he was adored by young women and men the world over.’
Pistorius wrote a letter to them two years ago asking for forgiveness and apologising but they now regard his plea with disdain.
Mr. Steenkamp said the four-page letter in blue ink contained ‘beautiful handwriting’ and added: ‘But I suppose he had all the time in the world to write it.’
It was not lost on the grieving parents that Pistorius did not sign off the letter ‘sincerely’ and merely ‘yours, Oscar.’
Mr. Steenkamp revealed he told Pistorius that he wasn’t the only one in prison and that by robbing them of their daughter he had, effectively, handed her parents their own lifelong sentence.
‘I said to him ‘Don’t think it is just you in jail, we are in jail as well. We are prisoners as well just like you. You are on the inside. But we do not go out, we don’t see people and our whole life has changed. So we are in prison just as much as you are’.’
He said he got ‘a fright’ when the killer walked into the room to meet him, but he hoped Pistorius would at last take this unique opportunity to admit he shot his daughter in a murderous attack.
But Mr. Steenkamp added: ‘If he had admitted murder, he would have felt different today too. That part of it would have gone. But he has to live with his evil secret.
‘My own hate has gone. I don’t want to live with that all the time. It is not that I would want to become friends with him or anything like that. ‘He is wiped out of my life. I don’t want to turn in every night saying ‘The Bastard’ which is how I was originally.
He said the thought of slapping the killer had crossed his mind, but as a non-violent man he had speedily ruled this out.
But he added: ‘Giving him a slap wouldn’t have been worth it. I would have rather get in the ring with Tyson Fury. I would have got a good punching, but I would have felt better.
‘All I want to see is the law take its course. They must do it correctly and I am glad our lawyer challenged his parole, otherwise he would have been out a long time ago. He would have been freed, I am sure. He hasn’t served half of his sentence. They had all the dates mixed up.’
The Steenkamp’s legal representatives have continually challenged the amount of time the gunman has served and must serve of his 13-and-a-half year sentence.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria sentenced him to six years in prison in October 2014.
The multiple Paralympic champion was initially found guilty of culpable homicide – an offense comparable to manslaughter – for shooting Steenkamp with his licensed 9mm pistol.
He claimed at his trial it was a tragic accident and he mistook her for a dangerous intruder. But prosecutors appealed the manslaughter finding and secured a murder conviction.
Pistorius was sentenced to six years in jail for murder, then prosecutors again appealed what they called a shockingly light punishment for murder.
South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal then more than doubled his sentence in 2017 to 13 years and five months’ imprisonment.
This in effect meant that he would be eligible for parole in 2023 possibly a fortnight after the 10th anniversary of the February 14 killing, but the Steenkamps’ fresh condemnation of their daughter’s killer is likely to be taken into consideration by officials.