Pistorius, slain girlfriend had planned future: uncle

Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:19am EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ed Cropley

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner", was planning a future with the girlfriend he is accused of shooting dead this week, his uncle said on Saturday.

Pistorius, 26, one of the world's most recognizable athletes, was charged on Friday with murdering swimsuit model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of the previous day.

He broke down during a 40-minute bail hearing at a Pretoria court but was not asked to enter a plea.

"They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time," Anthony Pistorius said in a statement released by his nephew's agent.

"We 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," he said. "All of us saw at first hand how close she had become to Oscar during that time and how happy they were."

The suggestion that Pistorius' family was close to Steenkamp runs counter to comments from Pistorius' father, Henke, who told the New York Times he had never met his son's partner.

"I don't discuss my son's relationships. I have, in fact, not met the lady," he was quoted as saying.

Prosecutors alleged the shooting was premeditated, a charge that could put Pistorius behind bars for life if convicted.   Continued...

 
Oscar Pistorius (R) and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg, February 7, 2013. South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on February 14, with shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria. REUTERS/Thembani Makhubele