Blade Runner’s brother facing homicide charge over road death

The family lawyer of Oscar Pistorius said yesterday that the double amputee athlete’s brother is facing a culpable homicide charge for a 2008 road death.

The development compounded problems for the family after Oscar was charged with premeditated murder following the February 14 shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The lawyer, Kenny Oldwage, said in a statement that Carl had been involved in a car accident “in which a woman motorcyclist sadly lost her life”, adding: “There is no doubt that Carl is innocent and the charge will be challenged in court.”

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Mr Oldwage said “Carl deeply regrets the accident” and that a blood test showed he was not drunk at the time. “It was a tragic road accident after the deceased collided with Carl’s car.”

He said the charges had initially been dropped, only to be reinstated later.

Carl Pistorius was supposed to be in court last Thursday as his brother Oscar was facing a bail hearing, according to local media reports.

Oscar Pistorius was released on bail on Friday and his brother was seen driving into the home of their uncle Arnold early yesterday in Waterkloof, a wealthy suburb of Pretoria, the nation’s capital, where Oscar is now staying.

The problems surrounding the athlete’s older brother are the latest twist in a case that has transfixed South Africa and much of the world.

Oscar Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder, but the athlete says he killed his girlfriend accidentally, opening fire after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.

The Pistorius family has yet to react to the accusations that Carl is facing. On Saturday, the family took steps to lower its profile on social media after someone hacked into the Twitter account of Carl. They cancelled all the social media sites for both Oscar’s brother and his sister, Aimee.

Carl has always been close to Oscar but was notably absent when their uncle Arnold, flanked by Oscar’s sister Aimee, read out a reaction to the shooting on February 17.

The three-storey house where the Paralympic athlete known as Blade Runner is staying with his aunt and uncle lies on a hill with a sweeping view of Pretoria. It has a large swimming pool and an immaculate garden.

His character also continued to take centre stage. For many, it mirrors his public appearances as an articulate, well-spoken advocate for Paralympic athletes facing hardship. Witness statements backing up Pistorius as a down-to-earth man were presented at the hearing.

Others have described him as a reckless risk taker who has been in trouble before, such as a boat accident in 2009 which put him in hospital.