Reeva Steenkamp's mother June.

Cape Town - Reeva Steenkamp’s parents said that Oscar Pistorius must pay for robbing the family of their loving child and breadwinner.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the model’s grieving family explained their reason for suing the Paralympic athlete who is on trial for murdering their daughter.

Mother June, 66, said: “Our hearts just feel broken. But we have no choice but to sue. Pistorius has placed us in this position.

“We are struggling financially. Reeva was helping us.

“On the night she died, when she was on her way to Oscar’s house, we talked about her sending us money to pay our cable television bill. I was fretting because I thought I was going to miss her first TV appearance.

“She told me not to worry, she would send money the next day. She regularly helped us with food and utility bills.”

Dad Barry, 69, speaking from their smallholding outside Port Elizabeth, told the UK paper: “I know not everyone understands why we are doing this.

“It makes me feel awkward, a bit guilty and terrible when people say these awful things.

“It’s shocking and hurts us so much as a family.”

Pistorius, 26, claims he mistook Reeva, 29, for an intruder when he shot her dead in the bathroom of his Pretoria mansion on Valentine’s Day.

His next court appearance is on August 19, which would have been Reeva’s 30th birthday.

June said: “Our loss is total. “Pistorius has taken away her chance of ever marrying or having children.”

Barry added: ‘Two weeks ago was Father’s Day. I just wept.”