Oscar ‘regrets trip to club’

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IOL pic july3 oscar pistorius in court on 020714

Reuters

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on July 2, 2014. Picture: Gianluigi Guercia

Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius was involved in an altercation at a trendy Sandton club over the weekend, his spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.

Anneliese Burgess said her client was at the VIP section of the club when he was approached by a man who has since been identified as Jared Mortimer.

“The individual, according to my client, started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial,” said Burgess.

The Paralympic athlete is charged with murdering his law-graduate and model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her through a locked toilet door at his Pretoria home.

The State, however, claims he shot her following an argument.

Elaborating on Saturday's incident, Burgess said: “An argument ensued during which my client asked to be left alone. Oscar soon thereafter left the club with his cousin.”

Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that Mortimer claimed Pistorius was drunk and had insulted him and his friends before poking him in the chest. Mortimer said he pushed Pistorius and he fell backwards and onto a chair.

According to EWN, bouncers intervened and stopped the brawl. Officials from the club - the VIP Room - which is at the Michelangelo Towers in Sandton, have denied the incident.

Spokesman Perry Mermigas admitted that Pistorius was at the club, but denied that anything out of the ordinary happened.

“We are not aware of this,” Mermigas told Sapa.

“Pistorius was there but there was no altercation and if there had been, we would have known about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pistorius regretted visiting the club.

“My client regrets the decision to go to a public space and thereby inviting unwelcome attention,” said Burgess.

On Sunday, several hours after the incident, Pistorius was active on Twitter.

He tweeted a Bible verse, a collage of pictures of his humanitarian work, and an extract from Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search For Meaning.

The text reads in part: “...The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.

“In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way - an honourable way - in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfilment.”

The verse from the Bible, Psalm 34:18, reads: “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.”

This was the first time Pistorius had been active on Twitter since the one-year-anniversary of Steenkamp's death.

Back then he tweeted: “No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love Reeva.”

“The pain and sadness - especially for Reeva's parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow. The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Last week, the defence closed its case in Pistorius's trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Final arguments are expected to be heard on August 7. - Sapa


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