Steenkamp's father on Pistorius: 'Only he knows'

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Far from the courtroom drama that has gripped South Africa, the family of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend has struggled with its own private deluge of grief, frustration and bewilderment.

Pistorius, released on bail Friday, is charged with premeditated murder for shooting Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day. The Olympic athlete who runs with prosthetic legs says he killed her accidentally, opening fire after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.

A South African newspaper, the Afrikaans-language Beeld, quoted the mother of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, law school graduate and participant in a television reality show, as saying the family had received a bouquet of flowers and a card from the Pistorius family.

"Yes, but what does it mean? Nothing," June Steenkamp said, according to yesterday's edition of Beeld. She also said Pistorius' family must be "devastated" and had done nothing wrong. "They are not to blame," she said.

According to Beeld, she said she had hoped to plan a wedding for her daughter one day.

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"It doesn't matter how much money he has and how good his legal team is, he will have to live with his conscience if he allows his legal team to lie for him," Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, told Beeld.

"But if he is telling the truth, then perhaps I can forgive him one day," the father said. "If it didn't happen the way he said it did, he must suffer, and he will suffer . . . only he knows."

Pistorius, 26, spent yesterday at his uncle Arnold Pistorius' residence in an affluent suburb of Pretoria. "We are extremely thankful that Oscar is now home," the uncle said in a statement that also acknowledged the law must run its course.

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