Oscar Pistorius' uncle says the Olympic sprinter is in "extreme shock" -- barely eating and spending his time reading the Bible -- but will "bounce back and be greater than ever" when his murder case is over.
In an interview that aired Wednesday night on the South African television network eNCA, Arnold Pistorius called his nephew a "soft person" and said he's certain he is not guilty of charges he intentionally killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
"Oscar will survive. He will have a tough time going forward, but he is a survivor," the uncle said.
"Nobody can be the same ever again if such a tragedy comes over your life but he will bounce back and be greater than ever.”
His prediction came after the athlete's lawyers and prosecutors faced off in a South African courtroom for the second day of a hearing that will determine if the 26-year-old runner gets bail or sent to prison until a trial. The hearing continues Thursday.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics, has been in custody since the Valentine's Day shooting at his Pretoria home.
"He spent a lot of time reading, especially reading his Bible...His mother was extremely religious," Arnold Pistorius said, adding that his nephew had only started eating again Tuesday night.
Pistorius, who claims he thought a prowler was in his house when he shot through a locked bathroom door and killed his model girlfriend, has sobbed through some of the court proceedings.
"He's grieving. He is in extreme shock. I don't expect it to get over it even soon," the uncle said, but added that the Olympian's life and career are far from over.
"I can tell you that Oscar, with his character, is able to work through this," he said. "He will bounce back and be greater than ever."
During Wednesday's hearing, Pistorius' lawyer subjected a police official to a tough cross examination in which he admitted a witness who heard an hour of screaming before the shooting was a thousand feet away from the apartment.
Warrant Officer Hilton Botha disputed Pistorius's version of the shooting, in which he claimed to have opened fire after rushing to the bathroom on his stumps in a panic.
He said the downward trajectory of the shots suggested Pistorius had on the artificial legs that gave him the nickname Blade Runner and aimed at someone on the toilet.
"I believe he knew she was in the bathroom," Botha testified.