Reeva Steenkamp's mother wiped away tears as she sat in the gallery of a Pretoria, South Africa courtroom today, where she faced Oscar Pistorius for the first time since her daughter was killed on Valentine's night last year.
June Steenkamp said she came to watch the trial so she could "really look him [Pistorius] in the eyes."
Pistorius walks directly past Steenkamp family in courtroom. Avoids eye contact. Sits down behind defence team #OscarTrial— Hamish Macdonald (@hamishNews) March 3, 2014
"Whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him," Steenkamp told the Mail on Sunday in an exclusive interview.
"But first I want to force him to look at me, Reeva's mother, and see the pain and anguish he has inflicted on me," she told the Mail. "I feel I need that."
Noticeably absent from the courtroom was the slain model's father, Barry Steenkamp, who was reported to have suffered a minor stroke in January.
A statement issued to ABC News by Steenkamp's legal team last week denied a report that he had suffered a second stroke just days before Pistorius' trial was set to begin.
The Steenkamps have spent much of the past year privately grieving the loss of their youngest child.
In their first televised interview, 11 days after Reeva Steenkamp's death, her parents said they simply wanted to know the truth about what happened to their daughter.
"It's only Oscar [and] Reeva that know the true story, and all I want is that he must just come out with the honest truth," he told the "Cart Blanche" television program Sunday on South African channel MNet.
In the emotional interview, June Steenkamp described how police called her Feb. 14 asking whether she had a daughter:
"I said, 'Yes,' and he said, 'There's been an accident, and she's been shot.' And I said, 'All I want to know is if she's alive or she's dead.' And he said, 'I'm sorry to have to tell you, but she's dead.'"
Pistorious, who claims he shot his girlfriend because he mistakenly believed she was an intruder, issued a statement around the one year anniversary of her death calling it a "devastating accident."
"The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva's parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow. The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life," he wrote.
The Steenkamps chose to ignore Pistorious' comment and instead issued a quick statement of their own.
"Without offending the media, or any well-meaning persons, we would like to ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time," they said.