Dateline   |  February 28, 2014

Oscar Pistorius: The Race of His Life part 4

Reeva, despite her beauty, grew up tough--hard-working and with little money. She helped her dad train race horses, but a riding accident when she was 14 put her in the hospital for 8 months with a broken back.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> at the trial of oscar pistorius , she will officially be the victim. but friends no doubt will testify that's hardly the word to describe reeva steenkamp. reeva's brief journey to her tragic end began with a last-minute phone call from the most sought-after celebrity of south africa .

>> hi. i'm oscar 's date tonight. he needed a date at the last minute so it was throw yourself together, come and be my date.

>> reeva was 29 when she lit up the red carpet with oscar at the south african sports award ceremony , november, 2012 . reeva had looks, no question there. but according to her friends, that might have been the least of her attributes.

>> reeva had a brilliant mind. she was smart and funny and all those things, but she was brilliant.

>> gina meyers was on the prosecution's witness list, was reeva's roommate, which may be understating their relationship. reeva actually lived with gina and her parents to save money. also being far from home , she missed her family and it was comforting to be a part of somebody else's.

>> she often told me how grateful she was for her upbringing. her family is very down to earth, they were salt of the earth . very humble. and reeva was exactly, exactly the same.

>> reeva grew up on a small farm near the factory town of port elizabeth . tough enough to come back from a serious fall from a horse, she broke her back, spent eight months in the hospital, learned to walk all over again. she attended a devout and diverse catholic school , st. dominic's, where students are taught to be of service to the poor. by the time she entered the law program at nelson mandela university, reeva was primed to make a difference, to be part of the new south africa . but during that time, she got mixed up with a man who crushed her self confidence.

>> she had spoken about having a previously abusive relationship .

>> after graduation to break free, reeva moved far away , to the big city , johannesburg.

>> she had an unbelievable personality, she had an unbelievable heart.

>> warren lahoud met reeva soon after she arrived in town and the two quickly fell in love .

>> we shared everything together, we did everything together.

>> lahoud is another one close to the case who was on the witness list. before he was named, he granted "dateline" an exclusive interview.

>> how long did you go out together?

>> i think four and a half years.

>> warren shared her values. hard working , devoted to family, normal.

>> he was a run-of-the-mill guy.

>> in one of life's weird twists, marc batchelor new reeva back when she was dating warren .

>> she was in love so we were talking about when are they going to have the wedding.

>> but before then reeva wanted to live out a fantasy. she had dabbled in models as a teenager and decided to give it another crack before she settled down as a lawyer.

>> she was looking forward to it taking her places.

>> reeva's career took off. she appeared in ads, tv commercials , videos. like this one for the men's magazine "fhm."

>> did she get a big head?

>> no, never.

>> but by july, 2012 , reeva broke the news to warren she wanted, for the first time in her life, to be on her own.

>> i was very busy, she was very busy, so i suppose you start growing apart and sometimes you need a break.

>> back then reeva only knew oscar the way everybody knew oscar . as the electrifying blade runner in the olympic games . then, pure coincidence really, four months later, the car dealer from whom oscar ordered that mclaren showed him a picture of reeva and suggested he might want to take her to the sports awards . and it was like they were made for each other. both disciplined, hard working , well read, hoping to put their fame to use for the betterment of others. oscar for land mine victims, reeva for victims of domestic violence.

>> did you ever meet oscar ?

>> i did, yes. i mean he seemed like a gentleman.

>> and, like a gentleman, warren graciously accepted his role as reeva's ex. and as an ex-boyfriend, warren would occasionally meet reeva at a cafe to talk about old times. one of those passing encounters, though, will be forever replayed in warren lahoud 's mind.

>> she told me how well she was doing. she seemed like she was happy.

>> and that was all?

>> that was all.

>> perfectly innocent, said warren . but did oscar think so? marc batchelor had seen, he said, how jealous oscar could be about his former girlfriend, samantha. he told us reeva's friends believed oscar now felt the same way with reeva.

>> let's talk about jealousy, she was contacting her ex, warren .

>> was oscar jealous of warren ? is that why warren is being called to testify? we don't know. but we do know this, that little coffee date that he had with reeva was on february 12th , 2013 , 36 hours before oscar killed her.