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Pistorius family vows support

Undated handout issued by Channel 5 of a picture painted by Reeva Steenkamp as a teenager, depicting a gunman, an angel and a stairway to heaven.

Undated handout issued by Channel 5 of a picture painted by Reeva Steenkamp as a teenager, depicting a gunman, an angel and a stairway to heaven.

The family of Oscar Pistorius say they will “support him every step of the way” ahead of his court appearance today but the parents of the girlfriend he shot are still searching for answers.

In a television interview, June Steenkamp says “there is only one person who knows what happened” that night in February when her “terrified” daughter Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

The interview with Mrs Steen-kamp and Barry Steenkamp comes as Pistorius – who is expected to stand trial later this year – is due to appear in court in Pretoria today.

Arnold Pistorius, uncle of the “Blade Runner”, said the family “fully stand behind” him as he prepares for his next court appearance, and said they were “shaken” by the pictures of the star’s bloody bathroom that emerged last week.

He said: “We believe in him, love him and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead. We were shaken by the graphic images, leaked into the public domain last week, of the accident scene at Oscar’s house.

“It has always been our plea that the legal process be allowed to run its course with integrity. The leaking of evidential material into the public domain, before the court case, does not advance this process.”

The 26-year-old double am-putee and six-time Paralympic sprint champion has been charged with premeditated murder, but claims he shot 29-year-old Ms Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.

Pistorius is currently on bail after a judge changed his conditions in March, allowing him to travel abroad providing he hands over his travel plans.

In the interview, Mrs Steen-kamp speaks of her desperation to know why the shooting took place, and discusses the guilt she and her husband feel about not having “protected” their daughter.

“Why? Why did he shoot her? I want to know why he shot her. Because she must have been so afraid in the toilet, and somebody’s firing (a) gun, bullets through the door.

“And how terrified and already one bullet had hit her so she must have been in severe pain also, and I just feel why couldn’t I have warned her, or known something about this person – that they could be capable of doing something like that.

“Because he shot her till she was dead... and I want to know what happened. Why?

“We feel bad that we couldn’t protect her... there is only one person who knows what happened,” she told a Channel 5 programme Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter?

Ms Steenkamp’s parents say their daughter told them of her arguments with Pistorius and how they had feared for her safety.

Recalling a phone call from her daughter who was travelling in a car that Pistorius was driving at speed, Mrs Steenkamp says: “She was afraid, she was so afraid.

“She phoned me and she said, ‘Mummy I’m in the car with Oscar and he’s driving like a lunatic’.”

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