The woman dubbed Reeva Steenkamp’s “second mother”, is set to resume her court vigil when the Oscar Pistorius trial continues this week, writes Sharon Feinstein.
Desi Myers housed her daughter’s friend Reeva in the months before she was killed by her disabled athlete boyfriend Oscar.
“Desi never misses a day of the trial,” Reeva’s cousin Kim Martin told the Jewish News. “We have become very close and if I miss a day she tells me what’s been happening. It’s not the same seeing it on TV. You have to be there.”
Desi, who lives in Johannesburg, is not alone in being transfixed by the Pistorius trial, which resumes this next week. The Olympic medal winning runner, known as ‘Blade Runner’ for his prosthetic legs, admits killing Reeva but says he thought she was an intruder.
Just in front of Myers in the courtroom has been June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, staring inscrutably at the defendant.
June’s daughter Reeva had been friends with Desi’s daughter Gina, a beauty consultant, which is what had brought Reeva to come to stay at Desi’s house.
“My dad used to call Reeva his favourite daughter,” says Gina. “I think he feels because she was living here, that he didn’t protect her. I think he feels like he lost a daughter and we feel like we lost a sister.”
Sleeping in a small upstairs bedroom, Reeva was well looked after in the Myers household. In return Reeva cooked pasta for Mr Myers and showered the family with chocolates and flowers.
“She text us that night [that she was killed],” said Gina. “You look back and as: why didn’t we just say, ‘come home?’”
In the hours after her death, Desi’s husband and son were asked to go and identify the body, and in the months that followed the Myers family home has become a place of mourning, with photos of Reeva hung on the walls.
“This has dominated their lives for over a year now,” said a close family friend. “They want to see justice done. That’s why Desi is in court every day. There’s a lot the family will say but only after the judgement.”