The mother of slain model Reeva Steenkamp said on Wednesday (21 October) she had no "feelings of revenge" towards South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who was released into house arrest this week just under a year into his five-year jail term.
"I don't think that I should actually discuss what I would say to him, but I've got no feelings of revenge," June Steenkamp said in her first comments since Pistorius' release late on Monday (19 October).
"I don't want to hurt him he's already a disabled person. I didn't want him to be thrown in jail and be suffering, because I don't wish suffering on anyone and that's not gonna bring Reeva back, but in my heart I don't feel any – I don't want revenge towards him, I passed 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.
The track star, who was found guilty of culpable homicide for firing four shots through a locked bathroom door that hit Steenkamp, will be confined to his uncle Arnold's home in a suburb of the capital, Pretoria. June Steenkamp said she did not want Pistorius to suffer.
"Once you've told God that you forgive, you have to forgive and I don't have any -- I don't want him to suffer because then I would be like other people. I don't want to be like other people, I've got my own ideas. You don't get revenge, you don't want revenge, I would certainly not want to hurt another human being," Steenkamp said.
She said that it was important to forgive completely to move on. "One has to forgive to move on otherwise you become ill and you forgive for God, God expects you to forgive, until you have done that you can't move forward in any way," she said.
Prosecutors argue the verdict should be one of murder because Pistorius must have known that the person behind the door could be killed. The appeal is due to be heard on 3 November.
The state will argue that the trial judge misinterpreted parts of the law and ignored vital evidence. A murder conviction would result in a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. A panel of five judges will hear the appeal. They could either reject the prosecution's appeal, order a retrial or convict Pistorius of murder themselves, legal experts say.