Reeva Steenkamp’s distraught mother has spoken out over Oscar Pistorius’ temper and behavior, saying that she’s forgiven him "in a Christian way" but still has unanswered questions over her daughter’s killing.
June Steenkamp told NBC News that she would never recover from the loss of her daughter, despite the Olympic sprinter’s conviction of culpable homicide and five-year prison term.
“There’s no closure. If someone could magic [Reeva] back onto this earth, then I'd have closure but other than that, I’ll never. My husband and I are destroyed by this, absolutely,” she said. “He’s taken away the grandchild she may have given us...He's taken away her wedding, he's taken away her career … and he's taken all that away, he's taken that away from us.
Pistorius, 28, was acquitted of murder but admitted firing the shots that killed his model girlfriend in the upstairs bathroom of his home in Pretoria, South Africa, on Valentine’s Day 2013. He told his trial that he mistook her for an intruder.
Steenkamp told NBC she thinks "there are huge pieces of the puzzle missing" and that "we don't know the truth yet" about what transpired the night her daughter was killed.
"Oscar knows the truth, Reeva knows the truth but she's not here anymore. Something terrible happened that night,” she said. “I just want the truth and to be fair, but it's not going to change my life … I’m moving on now.”
The 68-year-old spoke to NBC News from London, where she was promoting her book "Reeva: A Mother’s Story” and talking about plans to found a charity in her daughter’s name that will campaign against abuse of women.
“I have to save some women's lives, maybe to prevent what happened to Reeva,” she said. “It’s a daunting task but I’m up for it.”
While prosecutors were given permission earlier this month to appeal Pistorius’ murder acquittal and already have appealed the runner's jail sentence — which they described as “shocking inappropriate” — Steenkamp said she doesn't care what happens to him.
“I’m not really worried what happens to him... every night he's going to see Reeva's face, so he's already being punished quite a lot,” she explained. "If they give him another 20 years, it's not going to make a difference to my life... When they took him down those steps and they took him to jail and they took away his cell phones and his luxurious life and his spoiled life … it didn't matter for how long.”
Steenkamp also accused Pistorius of self-serving behavior and questioned whether his displays of grief at the trial were genuine.
“The vomiting and the crying? That was all for himself. That was for him, because he's done something wrong, he's in big trouble. Me, myself and I, that's it," she said, but insisted that she "wouldn't want to hurt" Pistorius in any way because she is not out for revenge.
"There's no revenge,” she explained. “But in a Christian way you have to forgive otherwise you'll never continue with your life.”
Still, she warned, Pistorius “can't control that temper — so it could happen again.”
F. Brinley Bruton contributed to this report.