Johanensburg - Oscar Pistorius’s “extreme” emotional pain was making him “self-harm” by going to clubs while the dark cloud of his murder trial hung over his head, said the athlete’s uncle, Leo, on Tuesday.
He slammed the version of events by the man who claimed Pistorius was drunk and caused a nightclub fracas.
Psychologists and trauma counsellors agreed on Wednesday morning.
“It’s a flight-or-fight scenario,” said Gillian Irving, a specialist in trauma recovery.
“He is a man in a huge amount of turmoil at the moment.
“If he decides he is lonely, he’s isolated, he’s not being heard or he’s victimised, all that could cause a very difficult situation psychologically,” said Irving.
She said these feelings could cause people to “blow off steam” in ways which appeared unwise to others.
“There is a loss of responsibility, which comes from a sense of hopelessness,” said another psychologist, who declined to be named.
“He looks like he’s going to throw caution to the wind with the case in its final stages.”
She said the hopelessness could cause dramatic swings in emotions from despair to anger on a daily basis.
“The legal system can also bring out this anger because it’s not always fair,” she said.
This morning, the police said Pistorius had not violated his bail conditions
and no case had been opened by either party.
Jared Mortimer was in the VIP section of The VIP Room, an upmarket club in the Michelangelo Towers Mall, on Saturday when he met Pistorius.
Mortimer said the athlete insulted his friends, including a relative of President Jacob Zuma, and poked him in the chest.
He admitted he then pushed a “drunk” Pistorius away from him and the latter fell back before bouncers intervened.
“We have taken note of the media coverage of the so-called nightclub incident over the past 24 hours and feel compelled to issue this statement as some of the outrageous claims simply cannot stand uncorrected,” Leo said on Tuesday night.
However, he conceded that his nephew had made a poor decision by clubbing.
“Being in a public space such as this, and thereby putting himself in a place where this kind of confrontation could take place, was ill considered.”
The uncle, however, said Pistorius’s unwise decision to go clubbing while the trial was still under way was driven by a psychological reason.
“Those of us closest to him have been witness to his escalating sense of loneliness and alienation.
“This, we believe, is underlying some of his self-harming behaviour,” Leo said.
The statement said the family were counselling Pistorius to help him find ways of dealing with his isolation.
The Blade Runner’s uncle then took aim at Mortimer.
“Mr Mortimer, who has been unknown to Oscar and our family until he approached the press with his story of the so-called altercation in which he has cast himself as the victim, is a man peddling untruths designed for maximum attention and maximum damage,” he said.
On Monday, Mortimer told The Star that Pistorius had also insulted Zuma and that he took offence because he was friends with one of the president’s relatives.
Other media reports have suggested Pistorius told Mortimer his family was so influential that Zuma worked for them and that they “owned” the SANDF.
Leo labelled the SANDF claim as “bizarre” and categorically denied the accusation that the athlete insulted Zuma.
“Oscar was at school with one of President Zuma’s sons and liked him a lot.
“Oscar also has great appreciation of Presidents Zuma’s extraordinary support of the Paralympians,” said Leo.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale said on Wednesday monring: “We are still trying to determine if the matter requires further investigation.”
He said it would have “no bearing” on the trial.