Book on Reeva, Oscar surprise to her parents

REEVA Steenkamp’s parents have reacted with surprise at news that two high-profile journalists have signed a deal with an international publishing company to write a book about the death of the Bay model and the trial of her paralympian boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.

The book, Behind The Door: The Oscar and Reeva Story,

will be written by Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman and is due to be released shortly after the trial concludes.

Wiener was the author of Killing Kebble, an exposé on the Brett Kebble murder, while Bateman is a reporter for Eyewitness News and was one of the first journalists on the scene of Steenkamp’s shooting.

Both journalists became especially popular on social networking website Twitter while reporting about the case and Pistorius’ bail application.

The book will be published by Pan Macmillan. According to the Pan Macmillan website, it “will follow the background to the case, the events of the trial itself, and a broader look at violence and criminal justice in South Africa”.

Heartbroken June and Barry Steenkamp said this week they were very surprised to hear about the book.

“We did not know about it, as no one conversed with us,” Barry Steenkamp said. “I suppose we will only find out what it’s about when it is out, but the book is still a mystery to us.”

But while Wiener and Bateman did not want to discuss the book, they told Weekend Post they had sent the Steenkamps a letter informing them about the book.

“We are aware of the sensitivities of this matter and thus are reluctant to comment about the proposed book. We have endeavoured from the outset to inform the Steenkamp, Pistorius and Meyers families (Reeva’s flatmate Gina Meyer) about the project. Letters were sent to each of the families via the appropriate channels, and receipt thereof confirmed by family representatives at least two weeks before news of the project became public knowledge.”

Advocate Dup de Bruyn SC, who is representing the Steenkamps along with lawyer Mike Venter, confirmed they had received a letter about the book, but said they had not passed the letter on to the Steenkamps.

“The Steenkamp lawyers have received a letter from those persons (Wiener and Bateman) but nothing has been communicated to the family as yet.”

Barry said he and his wife were still very emotional about Reeva’s death. “At times it is worse but we will get through this,” he said.

Regarding reports about the family considering a civil claim against Pistorius, he said nothing had been decided yet.

“We do not know yet. We will wait for the trial. We have left it in the hands of Mike Venter.”

According to a You magazine report, Reeva assisted her parents financially and while a civil claim will not bring her back, it may ease their financial worries. Barry confirmed that the couple were battling financially. “Who isn’t? Everyone must be struggling right now. Things are hard for a lot of people at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the Discovery Channel will screen an hour-long documentary titled Oscar Pistorius: What Really Happened? tomorrow night at 8.55pm on channel 121 on DStv.

It will have interviews with Reeva’s best friend and her ex-boyfriend, who met her for a coffee the day before she died. It will also have interviews with close friends of Pistorius.

Discovery Networks channel director Lee Hobbs said: “Since news broke of this tragic event, the entire world has been speculating about what actually happened that Valentine’s morning. The appetite for further knowledge about the case is still incredibly strong – especially here in South Africa where the story is still headline news.”

is a version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend
Post on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

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