Johannesburg - On February 16 last year, Darren Fresco changed his profile picture to one of his friend Reeva Steenkamp and his new wife, Beatrix.
It is clear from Fresco’s page he misses his friend and still mourns a great loss.
Fresco was not in the country when he learnt of Steenkamp’s death.
“I have been sitting here in London in a complete and utter state of disbelief. It’s as if we were just goofing off the other day talking to each other in only the way that we could to each other,” he wrote in memory of his friend.
“My heart is on the verge of exploding with the pain of such a sudden loss of one of my best friends. The tears have been building and subsiding throughout the entire day”.
This week, he made over a dozen new Facebook friends – some from as far afield as Germany – after he testified in the North Gauteng High Court.
Fresco was a good friend of murder accused Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Steenkamp. He and Pistorius had interacted regularly on Twitter before the Valentine’s Day shooting last year.
Steenkamp and Pistorius attended Fresco’s engagement party in January last year, where the three posed for several happy snaps.
But judging by the lack of communication between the two since then and the fact that Fresco referred to Pistorius as “the accused” and not by name, the friendship is over.
Fresco testified how the athlete had reacted angrily when a metro police officer picked up his firearm after the pair and Pistorius’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Tayor were pulled over.
He also described a shooting incident at a restaurant when a gun went off under a table causing damage to the floor and minor injury to a friend. Fresco said Pistorius tried to avoid responsibility.
“Instantly he passed the weapon back to me, under the table, and he said: ‘Please, there’s too much media hype around me at the moment, please can you take the rap?’ Being a friend I said I would, with pleasure.”
This week, Fresco received many messages of support after his testimony.
“You did amazingly well on the stand. Now, just as then, you were a good friend to both parties involved.
“Just remember, there comes a time in everyone’s life, that we realise, unless we look out for ourselves and our loved ones, no one else will.
“Good on you for telling the truth, and not being able to remember everything. You impressed me by staying focused, being strong and not letting (defence advocate Barry) Roux rattle your case,” read one message.
A new friend from Germany wrote: “So so sad for all of you. And I was thinking about your braveness. What does it take to stick to true facts and, in this case, to be against a good friend. You did a great and surely painful job.” - The Saturday Star