Pistorius’ girlfriend’s mom delivers speech daughter never got to give

Reeva Steenkamp died Valentine's Day 2013.

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa — The mother of Oscar Pistorius’ slain girlfriend

on Wednesday delivered the speech her daughter wrote and had planned to

give at a South African school on the day she was killed by the Olympic

athlete.

June Steenkamp went back to Reeva

Steenkamp’s old high school in their home town of Port Elizabeth to talk

to students, and read directly from the speech that touched on domestic

abuse, family relationships, and even Reeva Steenkamp’s struggles to

break into the modeling industry because she wasn’t very tall.

"I will now carry on where she left

off," June Steenkamp told students before reading excerpts of the speech

her daughter had prepared for a visit to a Johannesburg school on

Valentine’s Day 2013.

Instead, Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old

law graduate and model, was fatally shot by Pistorius in the pre-dawn

hours of that day.

Responding to students’ questions, June

Steenkamp spoke of the double-amputee runner, who was released from jail

Monday to go under house arrest.

"I’ve got no feelings of revenge," she said.

"I don’t want to hurt him; he is already

a disabled person," June Steenkamp said. "I did not want him to be

thrown into jail and suffering because I don’t wish suffering on anyone

and that’s not going to bring Reeva back.

"But in my heart, I don’t want revenge towards him. I am past that."

Pistorius, the world-famous runner and

multiple Paralympic champion, was acquitted of murder for Steenkamp’s

shooting death and instead found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable

homicide — an unintentional but still unlawful killing comparable to

manslaughter.

He was sentenced to five years in

prison and was released this week to go under house arrest after serving

a year in jail, in line with South African law.

June Steenkamp made Wednesday’s speech

to launch a foundation named after her daughter that aims to help women

and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

Wearing a black jacket, June Steenkamp

said the hurt of losing her daughter "never goes away," but she smiled

briefly as she repeated the words Reeva wrote for the planned

Valentine’s Day talk to youngsters more than two years ago:

"I hope that you all had an amazing

Valentine’s Day and you were spoilt with love and roses and chocolates,"

June Steenkamp said, quoting directly from her daughter’s speech. "Go

home and tell your parents, your siblings and your neighbors that they

are appreciated and you will go to bed with a happy heart and an open

mind for the future."

TRAGIC SPORTS DEATHS