Pistorius family relieved at bail

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iol news pic Oscar gets bail

SAPA

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius is seen inside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. File photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA

 Johannesburg - Murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius' family and friends were “immensely relieved” after he was granted bail this week, his uncle Arnold Pistorius said on Saturday.

“This constitutes a moment of relief under these otherwise very grave circumstances,” he said in a statement.

“We are extremely thankful that Oscar is now home.”

He said the Pistorius family never imagined they would have to deal with such tragic events.

“What happened has changed our lives irrevocably.”

Arnold said the family had to come to terms with the “sad reality” of Oscar's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's death and Oscar's part in it since they were told of the shooting on February 14.

“As a family it drew us closer together, supporting and encouraging each other, praying for Oscar Ä whom we love and who remains our son, brother and nephew. We have all been deeply affected by what transpired,” said Arnold.

“We are acutely aware of the fact that this is only the beginning of a long road to prove that, as we know, Oscar never intended to harm Reeva let alone cause her death.”

He said Oscar would never be the same; having lost the woman he loved, living with the knowledge that he caused her death, and that he could never undo the pain and loss to Steenkamp's family and friends.

“We realise that the law must run its course, and we would not have it any other way.”

Oscar has been charged with murder after he shot Steenkamp in his home on February 14. In his affidavit he claims he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

After eight nights in police custody and four days in court, Oscar was granted bail on Friday.

Magistrate Desmond Nair granted him bail of R1million, with severe restrictions on his movement.

After listening to extensive argument, Nair ruled that he was not a flight risk, and that the State had not shown that he had a propensity for violence.

Pistorius had to pay R100,000 first, and the rest by March 1.

His bail conditions included that he not be charged with any offence relating to violence against women.

He would not be allowed to return to Silver Woods country estate, the scene of the shooting; he has to surrender his passports; he cannot apply for travel documents; he must report to the Brooklyn police station on Mondays and Fridays at set times; and he can't take banned substances or alcohol.

He will live at an address not publicly disclosed, among other conditions.

Pistorius was ordered to return to court on June 4. - Sapa


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