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Pistorius must live with his conscience - slain girlfriend's father

Oscar Pistorius enters the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Hutch
Oscar Pistorius enters the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Hutch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius will have to live with his conscience after he shot dead his girlfriend on Valentine's Day and said it was a tragic mistake, the victim's father Barry Steenkamp was quoted as saying in the local media.

The athlete shot dead model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury home near Pretoria in the early hours of February 14. He was charged with premeditated murder after the shooting.

Pistorius said he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.

"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 tell lies on his behalf," Barry Steenkamp told Beeld, an Afrikaans newspaper.

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

Pistorius was granted bail on Friday after his lawyers successfully argued the "Blade Runner" was too famous to flee justice.

Meanwhile, Pistorius' family distanced themselves from a tweet on the account of the athlete's brother on Saturday thanking people for the support offered to both families.

A spokeswoman for the family said the account had been hacked. They said Pistorius' brother and sister would cancel their social media accounts.

The arrest of Pistorius stunned millions who had watched in awe last year as the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter reached the semi-final of the 400 metres in the London Olympics.

But the impact has been greatest in South Africa, where he was seen as a rare hero for both blacks and whites, transcending racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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