Wednesday 21 March 2018

Pistorius sells house where girlfriend shot, to pay legal fees

Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius
Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius

Aislinn Laing

Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete on trial for the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has sold the Pretoria home where he shot her dead to pay his legal fees, it has been confirmed.

Ansie Louw, Mr Pistorius's estate agent, confirmed that she had found a buyer for the house, which was valued at more than £280,000.

"We have a buyer," Ms Louw, the wife of Pistorius's running trainer Ampie, said. "We went through all the offers. We have accepted one of the bids and the transfer process is now under way."

The athlete announced that he had put his house on the market close to the beginning of his trial, which was originally listed for three weeks but has already spiralled to nine.

In a bid to fight the murder and gun charges he faces, he has built an impressive but costly legal team, including three of South Africa's leading defence lawyers, and is estimated to be spending £5,400 a day.

In March, Brian Webber, one of his lawyers, said the athlete had been paying his own legal fees.

"It has become necessary to sell Mr Pistorius's home in the Silver Woods country estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs," the lawyer said.

A source close to Pistorius said some of the people who enquired about buying the house only seemed interested because of its previous occupant, but added that they were confident they would find a "genuine buyer".

Since the shooting, Pistorius has been living at his uncle's house in Pretoria. He has also lost many of the endorsement deals from brands including Nike and Oakley that earned him around £300,000 a year.

Pistorius denies murdering model and law graduate Steenkamp on St Valentine's Day last year, saying he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder. The trial continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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