Steenkamp's mother says Pistorius didn't look her in the eye

June Steenkamp, the mother of Oscar Pistorius's dead girlfriend, said he walked straight past her in court on Monday, denying her the opportunity to look him in the eye.

Speaking to the American channel NBC, Steenkamp said Pistorius never made eye contact with her on the first day of his trial for murdering her daughter.

"He just walked into the courtroom and looked straight ahead. And then he sat down and never looked my way."

"I wanted him to see me. I'm the mother of Reeva," said the 67-year-old, who travelled from the southern coastal town of Port Elizabeth to attend the trial in Pretoria.

She said it was important that he saw her in court.

"The whole point was that he must see me, that I am there," she told the British channel ITV. "What happened to her (Reeva) was terrible and I just wanted him to see me there that I am there representing Reeva."

Steenkamp was not in court on Tuesday. She added that her husband Barry, who suffered a mild stroke last month, could not travel to Pretoria.

"He is devastated. He can't deal with it anymore. It's just too much for him. It's been a build-up and build-up," she said in the ITV interview broadcast on Tuesday.

She said although her husband is receiving treatment for the stroke, it would have been impossible for him to attend the hearing.

"He would probably have collapsed and maybe had another stroke."

Steenkamp said she had never met Pistorius and that her daughter's relationship with the double-amputee sprinter had been brief.

"I think it was three months," she said to NBC.

"I just want the truth. We want the truth of what happened. Only she and Oscar were there, and she's not here anymore."

Pistorius, 27, is charged with the murder of the blonde model, whom he shot in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. He claims that he mistook her for an intruder and fired at her through a locked bathroom door.

On Monday, the star pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

His trial is one of the biggest in South Africa's recent history, attracting huge local and international media interest.

Steenkamp said she wanted the truth about what happened on the night her daughter was killed, adding that it was important to forgive the Paralympics gold medallist.

"I've got to depend on the justice system that we get justice and we get answers. I've got confidence in that."

"It doesn't matter what happens to Oscar because my daughter is never coming back."

But, she said: "It's actually important to forgive him, for me. Because I don't want to live with bitterness in my life."

"I can forgive."