Paralympian Oscar Pistorius seemed shy and did not show much affection towards Reeva Steenkamp, her cousin Kim Martin told the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“I still remember thinking ‘he’s just standing there’. He came across as quite shy,” Martin said to questions from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
She was testifying in sentencing proceedings for Pistorius, found guilty last month of his girlfriend Steenkamp’s culpable homicide.
Martin was recounting first meeting Pistorius in Cape Town in January 2013, a month before Steenkamp was killed, and said how nervous and excited she was to meet someone famous.
She, Steenkamp, Pistorius and a few other relatives went to a restaurant, got a table, and were subjected to bad Cape Town service.
“I remember thinking that Oscar is getting a little bit agitated and I thought ‘he’s not used to the Cape Town service’.”
Her opinion of Pistorius changed to “nice person” when he gave her daughter advice about boarding school, Martin said.
“But I didn’t notice much affection,” she said of the interaction between Pistorius and Steenkamp.
When Pistorius got up to take a phone call, Martin asked her cousin “are you happy?”
“She pulled her shoulders and said ‘yes, but we need to talk’.”
Martin said she never had a chance to follow up on the conversation.
“That has bothered me forever since then.”
Nel asked that the matter adjourn to Thursday. Barry Roux, for Pistorius, said of his plans for Martin for Thursday: “I’m just going to ask two short questions. I’m not going to cross-examine [her].”
Judge Thokozile Masipa reminded the lawyers they had to conclude the matter as she was not available from next week.
On September 12 Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the culpable homicide of model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder. Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp.
Masipa found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco’s Glock pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.
Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges — illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012. SAPA