Reeva’s sister airs chilling warning about Oscar Pistorius
STARING at a picture of shamed Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, Simone Steenkamp says mixed emotions rise inside her.
Yet remarkably, the sister of model Reeva - murdered in a gun assault by the sprint legend in 2013 - is not completely blinded by hatred for the man who took her "angel" away.
The Sun reports, in a heartbreaking interview marking just over five years since Reeva's death, Simone reveals she feels pity for Pistorius, while pleading with South African authorities never to free him, warning: "He will kill again."
As the 31-year-old runner appeals his 13-year jail term, Simone insists the expanding bullets he used to murder Reeva prove the killing was no accident - and that he will still be dangerous when he goes free.
The Black Talon ammunition mushrooms on contact then fragments, causing maximum internal injuries Simone, 52, told The Sun: "Pistorius will come out one day and he will do it again, he is that dangerous. It is in him - he will kill again.
"You don't shoot an animal with the type of bullets he used.
"You don't shoot a loved one with that sort of bullet or even an intruder, as he claimed he thought it was.
"In a way I feel sorry for Pistorius. He has not had an easy life, what with the double amputation of his legs when he was just a baby and the loss of his mother at the age of 16.
"I think both those events made him what he is today.
"He worked hard to get where he did and I think the fame and acclaim went to his head and he just lost it with my sister."
Speaking for the first time since Pistorius's 2014 trial, Simone said he and Reeva had barely known each other, and she accused him of falsely painting their relationship as a "long-term partnership".
Pistorius - whose legs were amputated below the knee at 11 months old due to a birth defect - killed Reeva in the bathroom of his Pretoria home in South Africa on Valentine's Day in 2013, firing four Black Talon bullets through the closed door.
He claimed in court he had thought she was a burglar and after a gruelling seven-month trial he was sentenced to just five years in jail for culpable homicide.
The sentence was raised to 13 years last November after a 2015 appeal led to the charge being changed to murder.
Reeva was 29 when she died but to Simone she will always be her "tiny" sister.
She said: "I was 18 when Reeva was born. She was so beautiful and was my angel.
"I loved her from the moment I first saw her - and I love her just as much today.
"She called me Si and I called her Reeves.
"We talked all the time despite the age gap and we laughed so much and we used to swear so much Mum said we would need a swear jar.
"Reeves had an amazing sense of humour and sense of fun and love and I never heard her run anyone down unless they had a bad word to say about me or our mum.
"I still see her face. She was a strong personality with a heart of gold, and she wasn't a big softie, like me.
"She never hid her feelings - you knew what she was feeling. She never stood any nonsense from anyone.
"That's why I know she would stand up to someone like Pistorius, because she was not a doormat and she would not let anyone walk over her and would not be bullied."
'I THINK REEVA WAS LEAVING HIM'
When Reeva died, Simone was living in Cambridgeshire with her sons Nicholas, 30, and Christian, 31.
She said: "On the morning that Reeves died I got a WhatsApp at 6am telling me she had passed and had been shot by Oscar Pistorius. I thought, 'Passed what? Oscar who?'.
"I had never heard that she was going out with him because they had only been dating for three months.
"I just knew him as an athlete.
"I was in shock and wandered out of my house in the dark into the snow in my pyjamas and stood there for an hour as it slowly sank in that she was gone, that she had been killed."
Simone immediately returned to South Africa, where she learned the grim details of Reeva's death and how she had been planning to leave the sprinter before she was shot.
She said: "Reeves had been in two previous long-term relationships and takes them very seriously. She was very cautious in her relationships.
"She was only dating him from November and he killed her in February.
"She wasn't going to move in with him any time soon, as he said.
"I think she was leaving him. We later found out they had lots of fall-outs, which she never kept secret.
"I think he lost it and couldn't bear to have her walk out on him, and if he couldn't have her then nobody could."
Simone found Pistorius's seven-month trial unbearable.
She said: "I did just one day at court and it destroyed me. I couldn't go back again and hear his lies.
"I got told to be quiet a couple of times for calling him a b*****d and other things.
"I was just looking at him sat there, full of himself, and thinking, 'That's the man who killed our Reeves'.
"My mother was amazing as she went every single day of the trial but my dad has difficulty walking and a heart condition and did amazingly well to go to the sentencing.
"If Pistorius had just stood there in the dock and told the truth and said he lost his mind and shot her because she was going to leave him then I could understand it and accept it.
"I don't know why Pistorius claimed they were going to have a life and a home together in court. It was lies.
"He had never even met my mother and father, and never met me."
Just ten months after Pistorius was jailed he was released and placed under house arrest - which caused uproar in South Africa.
"It was a decision which Simone called a "joke".
She added: "It made me miss Reeva even more. I'd see lots of flashes of Reeves in my mum.
"I'd hear her voice all the time. I wanted justice for her.
"I can't even put into words how much I miss her.
"I so miss her presence and her laughter and even though it has been five years, I can still hear her voice.
"I hear it every day. I hated the time of year Reeva died. Every time an anniversary came round I dreaded it."
Last November, after a state appeal, Pistorius's sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months at South Africa's Supreme Court.
Now Simone reveals it has allowed the family to celebrate Reeva's life for the first time, rather than just continue to grieve over her murder.
She said: "This is the first year I've not been too bad on the anniversary.
"It is a day when I remember the good things about Reeves.
"It is a day when I remember how much she made me laugh.
"I don't think of her being murdered on this day but just the happy times together."
This year Reeva's mother June, 71, and father Barry, 74, a retired horse trainer, marked the anniversary by going to nearby Summerstrand beach in Port Elizabeth, which their daughter loved.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission.