Reeva Steenkamp‘s mother has said she attended the first day of the murder trial of Oscar Pistiorius because it was important that he saw her in court.
But June Steenkamp said the paralympian walked straight past her, and appeared not to notice her.
Oscar Pistorius walked straight past Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp – seen sitting in the front row of the courtroom with friends and family
“I wanted to see him and him to see me,” she told ITV News. “But he didn’t look at me or anything. He just walked straight and looked ahead.”
The grieving 67-year-old lives in Port Elizabeth and travelled to South Africa’s capital especially for the first day of proceedings.
June Steenkamp says she wants to forgive the athlete
“The whole point was he must see me, that I’m there,” she said. “I’m her mother and you know, what happened to her was terrible. And I wanted him to see me there, that I am there representing Reeva.”
June said that hearing evidence about her daughter’s death was “very traumatic, very hard”.
June Steenkamp was visibly upset during the interview
“I tried to keep strong. There was one occasion where I didn’t and I had a little breakdown, you know where they were talking about Reeva, what she went through and how she was traumatised.
“You can imagine. She’s locked herself in the toilet and she’s been shot and she’s in pain… I wish I could have been there to protect her.
Oscar Pistorius broke down in court upon hearing the Reeva was severely brain damaged following the first gun shot wound to the head
“That’s my child that I gave birth to and it’s hard for me that she’s dead, that she’s gone. That was the time I broke down.”
Reeva’s mother have previously said that she would only attend the first day of the trial because she “could not bear” hearing graphic evidence about how her child died. “I couldn’t go through that every day,” she said. “We just want to know the truth.”
June told ITV that her husband Barry had suffered a stroke last month because of the “stress” of what had happened, and did not attend the trial because of his health.
Oscar with his late girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp of whom he is accused of murdering
“He is devastated,” she said. “He can’t deal with it anymore. It’s just too much for him.”
In an extraordinary show of compassion, June said that she has forgiven Oscar for killing her daughter.
“I’m not a person who hates another person,” she said. “One has to forgive otherwise I will sit with all that anger and I don’t want it to burn me up. One has to forgive. We’ll never forget.”