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Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius’ spin doctors have refused to deny the murder-accused star gave a donation to his slain girlfriend’s cash-strapped family.
Reeva Steenkamp’s family on Thursday confirmed they were offered “financial assistance” from members of the public.
This followed reports that the Port Elizabeth family are struggling to cope financially after Reeva’s death.
On Thursday night, the Daily Voice repeatedly asked Pistorius’ PR team if he had made a cash donation to the family.
In an e-mail to this newspaper, spokeswoman Lunice Johnston appeared to confirm that he had provided some assistance.
She wrote: “The financial support to the Steenkamp family would be regarded as a private matter between the two families.”
Then, without a request for clarification, a more senior spin doctor – Janine Hills – sent another e-mail saying: “Oscar is currently in mourning, should he be in a position to assist the Steenkamp family in the near future, it will remain a private matter between him and Reeva’s family.”
We then asked if this meant that Pistorius did not make a donation.
But Hills would only reply: “So sorry, whatever Oscar decides to do will remain personal and private. Right now he is taking one day at a time, and we have been asked to please respect that.”
Earlier, the Steenkamp family issued a statement thanking the public for their support – “financial and other” – since Reeva was shot dead by her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.
In a press statement, the family’s lawyers, Advocate Dup de Bruyn and Mike Venter, said: “It is much appreciated. However, that which still needs to be addressed concerns all issues surrounding the administration of such funds.”
Earlier this week, it was reported that Reeva’s father Barry Steenkamp – a former jockey and racehorse trainer – does not have full-time job.
His wife June used to have a riding school, but she now works as a caterer.
It is understood that Reeva – one of the country’s top models – helped her family financially.
Pistorius was released on R1 million bail on Friday last week.
Since then he has been hiding out at an undisclosed location in a bid to escape the media spotlight.