I don’t hate Oscar Pistorius, I’ve forgiven him, says Reeva Steenkamp's Blackburn mother

First published in East Lancashire Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

THE East Lancashire mother of Oscar Pistorius’s late girlfriend says she has forgiven the Olympic sprinter.

The South African athlete claims he accidentally killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder and opening fire through a door.

He is currently on trial for her murder because the prosecution says it was pre-meditated.

Speaking to Hello! magazine, June Steenkamp, who was born and raised in Blackburn before emigrating to South Africa in her 20s, said she still felt her daughter’s presence since her death on Valentine’s Day 2013.

She said she would only rest in peace when the paralympian’s trial for her murder was over.

June said: “I feel her presence and talk to her all the time. She’ll only rest in peace when this is over. I trust that God will prevail and justice will be done. All we want is the truth.

“I don't hate Oscar, I’ve forgiven him. I have to – that’s my religion.

“But I am determined to face him and re-claim my daughter. It’s important for him to know that I’m there, that Reeva’s mother who gave birth to her and loved her, is there for her.”

Reeva’s death has also taken its toll on her father, Barry, who has suffered a stroke and been unable to attend the court hearings.

He said he wished he had intervened to end the couple’s relationship, saying: “If I'd known what I know now, I would have attempted to stop the relationship.

“Reeva wouldn’t have liked me for attempting to interfere, but as it turned out she would have thanked me in the end.”

Pistorius, known as the blade runner because of the artificial legs on which he runs, shot dead Ms Steenkamp through a closed toilet door at his home during the early- hours incident.

His trial, which resumed last Monday following a break, heard how Pistorius’s mental health has suffered since the shooting.

The court heard he had suffered ‘significant stress and anxiety’ but did not have a mental disorder when he shot Ms Steenkamp dead. The trial continues.

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