'We don't want revenge': Steenkamp's mother

22nd October 2014, Comments 0 comments

The mother of Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend said Wednesday she did not want "revenge", a day after the disgraced South African athlete began serving a five-year jail term for shooting her daughter dead.

June Steenkamp told British broadcaster ITV that she was "settled" with Pistorius's sentence for killing Reeva Steenkamp, even though it could mean he is out of prison and under house arrest after 10 months.

Looking pale and holding her husband Barry's hand, she added: "We don't want revenge, we want a fair punishment under the circumstances on his disabilities.

"We wouldn't have wanted him to go to jail and be abused and I feel that he will realise that he can't go around doing that, he can't kill someone like that."

Pistorius, the first double amputee Paralympian to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics, was ordered Tuesday to serve a maximum five years in prison for culpable homicide, or manslaughter after a seven-month trial.

Pistorius, 27, had testified that he shot the 29-year-old model four times through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home after he mistakenly believed she was an intruder.

Prosecutors had argued that he murdered her in a fit of rage after an argument in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

June Steenkamp reacted angrily in September when he was acquitted of the murder charge.

"We were shocked. Shocked. Disappointed," she told ITV News then. "You know your heart drops because you just want the truth," she said.

"There is still something missing," her husband, Barry Steenkamp, said at the time. "I think there was more to the whole story, you know, coming up to the actual shooting, the killing."

- 'Great empty space' -

But in the interview aired on Wednesday, June Steenkamp said the family had accepted the judge's decision, despite indicating that some members were not "entirely happy".

"We're very settled with the sentence," she added.

"He has go to pay for what he has done and it is not that we want vengeance or anything, or for him to suffer with his disabilities.

"We may not feel that justice has been done, but we have just got to accept what the judge decided.

"If there is an appeal, well, there is an appeal. There is nothing we can change about that but it will be difficult to go on even further, again."

Steenkamp said: "We will see her again one day when we are in the same place but still there is a great, great empty space for us and it is very hard."

Barry Steenkamp also said the family had to go along with what Judge Thokozile Masipa had decided.

"Only Oscar knows whether that sentence is acceptable to him," he said.

"I've got my feelings to the whole thing. But we do accept what the judge handed down."

"If there is more to this whole unfortunate saga, it is only Oscar Pistorius that knows and he is the one that will have to live with it for the rest of his life," he said.

"Oscar has lost everything. We have lost our daughter."

© 2014 AFP

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