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Mother of Pistorius' slain girlfriend: 'Why my little girl?'

South African
South AfricanFrennie Shivambu / JustusMedia via Reuters

The mother of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot to death Thursday in the home of Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, vented her grief and frustration to a South African newspaper.

The interview, conducted by telephone Sunday and reported Monday by The Times of Johannesburg, appears to be June Steenkamp's first since her daughter's death at Pistorius' home in the gated Silver Woods Luxury Estate outside Pretoria.

"Why? Why my little girl?" she asked. "Why did this happen? Why did he do this? What for?"

Pistorius, 26, has been in custody since the shooting and is to be formally charged in a court appearance Tuesday with the murder of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate, model and actress who had gained global attention with her blond good looks and bubbly personality.

He has strongly denied allegations that he murdered his girlfriend.

NBC News' full coverage of the Oscar Pistorius case

June Steenkamp told The Times that she and her family are left searching for logic in a time of grief and shock.

"All we have is this horrendous death to deal with ... to get to grips with," she said. "All we want are answers ... answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this."

Reeva Steenkamp was recently featured in the new season of a reality show, "Tropika Island of Treasure"; had done promotional work for international brands including Toyota; and was on the December 2011 cover of FHM magazine, which named her one of the "100 Sexiest Women in the World" two years in a row.

"She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone," June Steenkamp said. "Just like that, she is gone. … In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here."

Mike Steenkamp, whom The Times identified as a family spokesman, said the Steenkamps were trying to simply make it through the funeral, which like Pistorius' court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

"For now, we are just focusing on … getting this part of the difficult journey behind us," he told The Times.

"We're trying not to think about Oscar or the court appearance," he added. "We have deliberately not watched TV or listened to the radio. We just don't want to think about it. We want to blank it all out and focus for now on the here and now."

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