Reeva and Oscar’s parents stil

Reeva and Oscar’s parents still tussling over settlement

Six months after negotiations, the wealthy Pistoriuses have allegedly offered Reeva Steenkamp’s family R2 million – less than half a year of Oscar’s annual earnings before the shooting. But is it enough for them to settle, mere weeks before the start of Oscar’s real trial?

Reeva and Oscar’s parents stil
Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry
Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry

The lawyers of Paralympian gunman Oscar Pistorius and those of his slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, are now in their sixth straight month of negotiation over a settlement.

Speculation has it that the settlement ultimately paid out by the wealthy Pistorius family – whose third-generation wealth extends across a mining and property empire – may be in the region of R2 million. This is small change for Pistorius, who noted in his bail statement that he owned property worth R8.3 million at the time of his shooting of Steenkamp, and that he had earned R5.6 million that year alone, mostly in endorsements.

Those endorsements may be gone now, but Pistorius’s wealth remains – and Reeva’s family, who depended on her almost entirely, have lost a lifetime of financial security from their daughter, murdered on the cusp of real stardom.

The Steenkamps, in the few (and well-remunerated) interviews they have given since Reeva’s death, have been open about their difficult financial history. Far from being free-loaders, they present themselves as a close-knit family who had sacrificed much in order to give Reeva every chance in life, and whom she supported gladly.

Two million may not be enough to impress Reeva’s fans that Oscar’s remorse runs quite as deep as his defence team would like the world to believe, but it is a substantial amount for the Steenkamp couple, who live modestly in the Eastern Cape.

Steenkamp’s lawyer, Dup de Bruyn, told the press that negotiations had been ongoing since August last year. Presumably, Oscar’s legal team have every intention of wrapping them up as they enter the final month of preparation before his highly-anticipated trial starts on 3 March.

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Oscar Pistorius’s six-gun arsenal

Reeva’s grieving parents: ‘Oscar must just come out with the truth’