Pistorius to sell home where he killed girlfriend to pay expenses
March 21, 2014 - 12:42:48 am
JOHANNESBURG: Oscar Pistorius will sell the luxury Pretoria home in which he shot and killed his girlfriend to pay his legal expenses due to an unexpected delay in the trial, his lawyer said yesterday.
The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of 29-year old model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.
Pistorius has been forced to sell his home in the upmarket Silver Woods estate because the legal process is likely to take longer than the three weeks initially indicated by the state, Brian Webber, the lawyer handling the sale, said. “It has become necessary to sell Pistorius’ home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs,” he said.
“Pistorius has been funding his own defence from the outset. Due to the delay in finalising the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset, has had to be made.” Webber added that the property was handed back to the track star by the authorities more than a year ago. Although a decision was taken to keep it sealed until after the trial, Pistorius had been forced to reconsider.
The track star, nicknamed the “Blade Runner”, has not returned to the house since Steenkamp’s killing. “Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again,” Webber said.
Pistorius’ lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to achieve global fame as the “fastest man on no legs,” running on carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs to win gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.
He also reached the 400 metres semi-finals at the London 2012 Olympics, competing against able-bodied athletes. The trial, which began on March 3, was adjourned due to a national holiday today in South Africa.