Steenkamp's mother says wants no revenge

The mother of slain model Reeva Steenkamp said on Wednesday she did not want retribution against South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.
The mother of slain model Reeva Steenkamp said on Wednesday she did not want retribution against South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The mother of slain model Reeva Steenkamp said on Wednesday she did not want retribution against South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who was released into house arrest this week just under a year into his five-year jail term.

The disgraced track star, who was found guilty of culpable homicide for killing Steenkamp by firing four shots through a locked bathroom door, will be confined to his uncle Arnold's home in a suburb of the capital, Pretoria.

"I've got no feelings of revenge. I don't want to hurt him. He's already a disabled person," June Steenkamp said in her first comments since Pistorius' release late on Monday.

"I don't want him thrown in jail and be suffering ... that's not going to bring Reeva back. But in my heart I don't want revenge towards him, I'm past that," Steenkamp said on state broadcaster SABC at the launch of the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation at a school in the southern city of Port Elizabeth.

Steenkamp read a speech that Reeva had been due to deliver on the morning of Valentine's Day 2013, the day she was shot and killed by Pistorius, South Africa's double-amputee "Blade Runner".

"It's been a hard journey and it's going to go on until the day I die," Steenkamp said when asked how she was coping.

Pistorius family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said on Tuesday they were glad to have the athlete home and that he would observe his parole conditions closely.

The athlete still faces an appeal on November 3 by prosecutors who argue that he should have been convicted of murder, not culpable homicide. Prosecutors say Pistorius must have known that the person behind the door could be killed.

The state will argue before five judges that the trial judge misinterpreted parts of the law. A murder conviction at the appeal hearing - which Pistorius is not obliged to attend - would result in a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The judges could either reject the prosecution's appeal, order a retrial or convict Pistorius of murder themselves, legal experts say.