Barry Steenkamp, the father of Reeva Steenkamp, who was tragically shot and killed by Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, has died at the age of 80, according to a family spokesperson. The Steenkamp family’s lawyer and spokesperson, Tania Koen, confirmed Barry Steenkamp’s passing. The family’s foundation, established in memory of Reeva, announced that Barry Steenkamp passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday evening.
Barry Steenkamp played a prominent role during Pistorius’ murder trial, expressing grief and anger over losing his daughter. Pistorius was convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison. Currently incarcerated, Pistorius is seeking parole and attended a hearing in March. South African authorities stated that he would only be eligible for early release in August of next year, a decision Pistorius is challenging.
Barry Steenkamp had a face-to-face meeting with Pistorius last year as part of a program that allows victims or their families to confront offenders seeking parole. During the meeting, Steenkamp urged Pistorius to confess that he intentionally shot Reeva in a fit of rage after an argument. Pistorius maintains that he mistook Reeva for an intruder and shot her in self-defense.
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents initially forgave Pistorius but later changed their stance. On the 10th anniversary of their daughter’s death in February, they expressed their belief that Pistorius intentionally shot her and advocated for him to remain in prison for life. The Steenkamps opposed Pistorius’ release on parole.
Barry Steenkamp’s health prevented him from attending Pistorius’ parole hearing in March, as confirmed by family spokesperson Tania Koen.