As the trial of Oscar Pistorius, who is accused in the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, resumed Monday, the victim's mother says she has forgiven the South African Paralympic athlete.
"I don't hate Oscar," June Steenkamp, the mother, told the Hello! magazine. "I've forgiven him. I have to – that's my religion. But I am determined to face him and reclaim my daughter. It's important for him to know that I'm there, that Reeva's mother, who gave birth to her and loved her, is there for her."
Prosecutors say Pistorius killed his girlfriend on Valentine's Day in 2013 after an argument. However, the Olympian claims it was an accident, that he fired four shots through a locked toilet door after he mistook her for an intruder.
"I feel her presence and talk to her all the time," Steenkamp, the mother, added. "She'll only rest in peace when this is over. I trust that God will prevail and justice will be done. All we want is the truth."
The athlete, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby and who is globally known as the "Blade Runner" due to his carbon-fiber prosthetic limbs, will face up to 25 years if found guilty of premeditated murder.
On Sunday, Australia's Channel Seven aired footage, made as a part of the defense team's trial preparations, showing Pistorius in a re-enactment of the night he fatally shot his girlfriend.
The family of Pistorius denounced the airing of the video as a "staggering breach of trust."
Pistorius' lawyer, Brian Webber, said the defense team hired The Evidence Room, a U.S.-based company, to "visually map the events on the night of the accident" and that video footage was filmed as part of that process, according to The Associated Press.
The video has not been shown in the trial, and the footage was obtained illegally by the Australian broadcaster, the lawyer added.
Pistorius earlier told The Guardian that his girlfriend "was a very good Christian. She would pray about my travelling and all of the small things in my life."
Pistorius also said earlier that he has been reading the Bible and attending church and was being visited by a pastor.
"He's been going to church and people from the church are visiting him," Lois Pistorius, an aunt of the sprint runner, told The Guardian. "He attends the English service and I attend the Afrikaans service."
She added that he is reading the Bible at home "a lot." "If you've got a purpose in life and you believe in God, it gives you a reason to understand things when they're not going smoothly because you rely on God who is everlasting and always there. Humans make mistakes. None of us is perfect."
Pistorius' uncle, Arnold, has told M-Net channel in South Africa earlier that the athlete cries frequently. "He reads scripture and he prays. He grieves all the time and, it's such a personal thing, it's difficult for me to talk about this but he's going through a very, very tough time."