Johannesburg - “Hello, this is Oscar speaking.” These were the first words “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius uttered to the media, albeit not deliberately.
Pistorius sounded dejected on Saturday when he answered his uncle’s phone. All his cellphones had been confiscated by the police.
He refused to answer questions posed by The Sunday Independent and quickly handed the phone to his uncle, Arnold Pistorius.
He insisted the family be afforded some privacy. “You people must follow the proper channels and deal with our public relations team.”
Pistorius spent his first night outside of a police cell surrounded by his family at his uncle’s Waterkloof home on Friday.
He was arrested on Valentine’s Day after he allegedly shot and killed his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
But a police insider said the Paralympian’s bail could be revoked at any time.
“If he does not comply with the conditions set out by the magistrate, his bail could be revoked and he would find himself thrown into Newlock Prison,” the source, who would not be named, said.
Pistorius’s spokeswoman, Lunice Johnston, said the sprinter was in mourning. She would not be drawn on whether he would attend church today.
“Oscar and his family are relieved bail has been granted, but they are still grieving the loss of Reeva. Oscar spent time with his family last night at his uncle’s house in Pretoria,” she said.
She said the tight-knit family had taken the weekend to bond and did not intend to leave the house.
Johnston said the athlete had yet to make contact with Steenkamp’s family. “He respects their time to mourn. Oscar and the Pistorius family feel it’s a private and personal matter between the two families.
“On Monday, two bouquets of flowers were delivered by a relative to Reeva's family, one from Oscar and one from the Pistorius family with hand-written notes. His management team also sent a bouquet,” she said.
Pistorius is expected to spend his days focusing on his defence and will not return to the track soon.
She confirmed he would live with his uncle until his fate was decided and said he was not worried about his bail being revoked.
“Oscar understands the seriousness of the matter and is responsible, committed and respectful of the law. He will adhere to all the restrictions of the bail.”
His family has been a pillar of strength for him, visiting daily and consoling him as he wept during his protracted bail application.
In a statement on Saturday, Arnold Pistorius said they were thankful Oscar was now home.
“From the moment the family were informed of the accident in the early hours of February 14, the Pistorius family had to come to terms with the sad reality of Reeva Steenkamp’s death and Oscar’s part in it. It drew the family closer.
“We are acutely aware this is only the beginning of a long road to prove Oscar never intended to harm Reeva, let alone cause her death.”
Pistorius was released on R1 million bail on Friday. Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair determined he was not a flight risk, posed no danger to society and did not have a predisposition to violence.
This followed tweets about the Paralympian allegedly being thankful for prayers and support given in his murder case, Pistorius’ PR company said.
“It is most unfortunate that during this sensitive time, someone would choose to hack into Oscar Pistorius’s older brother, Carl Pistorius’s Twitter handle,” said Janine Hills from Vuma Reputation Management.
She said they picked up the story from local radio news that Oscar’s brother tweeted that the Paralympian was thankful for “prayers” offered during his bail application after he allegedly shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead.
“I spoke to Oscar myself I spoke to his brother and they said they didn’t tweet,” said Hills. “We are busy cancelling all the social media sites for both Oscar’s brother and his sister Aimee.”
Additional reporting by Sapa