After South Africa’s Supreme Court on Thursday changed Oscar Pistorius’s conviction from culpable homicide to murder, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother told a TV reporter that she has forgiven the Olympian, and sees the new verdict as “a sign of respect” for her daughter. June Steenkamp had been present throughout the entire legal proceedings, and was seen sobbing on the steps of the courthouse after the court issued its decision. “I see this as the truth. And the success is due to the justice system and God,” she told broadcaster SABC. “This is respect for my daughter and her life also, and respect for women all over this country, because we have too much of this happening and people get away with it.” She talked about how the case had left “two families completely destroyed” because of what happened, and how the stress had been too much for her husband and Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, who had suffered a stroke. Nevertheless, she expressed praise for South Africa’s justice system, and said any additional time Pistorius might spend in prison doesn’t make a difference to her. “I don’t want to hurt him in any way … To move on in life, you have to forgive. I have forgiven him, and I don’t wish him any harm. He just has to pay for what he’s done, and take responsibility for what he’s done,” she said.
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