Uncle of Oscar Pistorius has claimed the Paralympic champion was planning a future with the girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp whom he is accused of shooting dead at his home this week.
Pistorius, one of the world's most recognisable athletes, was charged on Friday with murdering model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of the previous day, News24 reports.
Anthony Pistorius said in a statement released by his nephew's agent that both Oscar and Steenkamp had plans together, adding the Paralympic star was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time.
The statement added they are in a state of total shock, firstly about the tragic death of Reeva, who we had all got to know well and care for deeply over the last few months.
Anthony added all of them saw at first hand how close Steenkamp had become to Pistorius during that time and how happy they were.
The suggestion that Pistorius's family was close to Steenkamp runs counter to comments from Pistorius's father, Henke, who told and American newspaper that he had never met his son's partner.
Prosecutors alleged the shooting was premeditated, a charge that could put Pistorius behind bars for life if convicted, the paper reported.
Police have said there are no other suspects and the pair were the only people in the house at the time. Initial reports suggested he might have mistaken her for an intruder.
Anthony Pistorius reiterated the family's belief that the track star had not shot Steenkamp deliberately, the paper said. (ANI)