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'Nobody saw it coming,' Reeva Steenkamp's uncle says

By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News

An uncle of slain model Reeva Steenkamp said he "can't answer" whether Oscar Pistiorius killed her on purpose but did say no one in the family had any idea the golden couple's romance would end so tragically.

"Nobody ever saw it coming," Mike Steenkamp told Rock Center with Brian Williams.

"Never forewarned."

Steenkamp, who gave the eulogy at his niece's funeral last week, said her parents Barry and June are so awash in grief they have not paid much attention to the legal drama that played out in a South African courtroom where Pistorius was freed on bail Friday.

They are focused, instead, on precious memories of a 29-year-old who hoped to make a difference with her law degree and who was excited about her starring role in a reality TV show that did not air until after her death.

"The saving grace was they never put all their anger onto the situation," Steenkamp said of the family's emotional state.

"Their focus was completely on Reeva," he told NBC's Mary Carillo.

"Nothing will be done until everything takes its course and only then will there be a reaction."

Of Pistorius, he added, "I don't like to comment on the way he is and what he does and the way things happened...I'll wait for that to sort itself out."

Pistorius, 26, is accused of intentionally shooting Steenkamp through the bathroom door of his home after a blazing Valentine's Day argument.

The double-amputee Olympic runner maintains he didn't know his girlfriend of four months was in the bathroom and that he thought there was a prowler.

Mike Steenkamp said his niece had been in an abusive relationship once and didn't "tolerate" domestic violence. Asked whether that meant she would have known if she was in danger from Pistorius, the uncle said, "it's very possible" but wouldn't comment on their relationship except to say they "looked happy."

"That's all gonna come out in the end," he said.

In the meantime, he said, her parents' "daily life is bumped up on tears and heartache."

"Mention the name of Reeva and he'll break down," he said of his brother. "And June, as well."

June Steenkamp managed to watch the first episode of her daughter's reality show, "Tropika Island," when it aired last week,  but her husband had to leave the room.

In one outtake exclusively obtained by "Rock Center," the model talks about a horse-back riding accident she had a few years earlier that landed her in the hospital for a month -- and altered her plans for the future.

"I'm a model," she says. "I have a law degree as well, so hopefully one day I can be an advocate. But right now I'm enjoying traveling and being behind the camera."

Crew members are mourning her, too.

"She never changed, whether she was in front of the camera or off camera," cameraman James Boon said. "She was definitely the genuine article."


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