South African olympian Oscar Pistorius is escorted from the Boschkop Police station on his way to the Pretoria magistrate's court. He allegedley shot his girlfrien dead. 140213.
picture: Chris Collingridge
South African olympian Oscar Pistorius is escorted from the Boschkop Police station on his way to the Pretoria magistrate's court. He allegedley shot his girlfrien dead. 140213. picture: Chris Collingridge 575

Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius, the man known as the Blade Runner, is certainly no stranger to controversy.

In September 2009, Pistorius spent 17 hours in jail after being charged with common assault.

A woman, Cassidy Taylor-Memmory, who was a student at the University of Pretoria at the time, alleged that Pistorius had slammed a door on her after they had a fight at a party at his house.

The Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to pursue the matter, saying they did not believe Pistorius had any intention to assault Taylor-Memmory.

Soon afterwards, Pistorius instituted a R2.2 million damages claim against her, saying she had deliberately given the police false information.

Pistorius also instituted a R6.5m lawsuit against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for unlawful arrest.

Taylor-Memmory told the police he had aggressively slammed a wooden door, causing it to break, and a piece of wood hit her leg.

Earlier that same year, Pistorius was admitted to hospital with facial injuries after he crashed his speedboat on the Vaal River.

He said later that the jetty was submerged and he couldn’t see it when his boat hit the pier.

His boat was damaged and Pistorius had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery.

Beeld reported at the time that the police had found empty bottles of alcohol on the boat, but that his blood wasn’t tested for alcohol use.

After a police investigation into reckless and negligent behaviour, the National Prosecuting Authority decided against prosecuting Pistorius for the incident.

Shortly after that, Pistorius prohibited media photographers from taking pictures of an accident scene on the N4 highway in which a friend of his was involved.

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Beeld reported that Pistorius’s friend had knocked over a pedestrian who died on the scene.

Pistorius allegedly tried to keep photographers away from the scene.

Asked why they couldn’t take photos, the Blade Runner was quoted as saying: “Because I am Oscar Pistorius.”

In September last year, he apologised after publicly lashing out at Brazilian athlete Alan Oliveira, who beat Pistorius to the gold medal in the T44 200m at the Paralympic Games in London.

Pistorius believed that Oliveira was unfairly advantaged by his long running blades.

After winning the silver medal, Pistorius said it hadn’t been a fair race.

The next morning, he apologised to Oliveira. “I would never want to detract from another athlete’s moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race,” said Pistorius.

In November last year, Pistorius’s former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, told City Press he was the ultimate “player” after he had left her for Steenkamp.

“Oscar is certainly not what people think he is. We dated for a year-and-a-half,” Taylor said.

This was after Pistorius was accompanied by Steenkamp to the SA Sports Awards in Sandton last year - two months after appearing with Taylor on the beaches of Seychelles in the SABC3 magazine show Top Billing.

Taylor said Pistorius had a “way with women” and that Steenkamp was “probably not the only one he’s got”.

A month later, The Star reported that charges of defamation had been laid against Pistorius after he allegedly had a fight with a man who his girlfriend was allegedly dating.

The defamation report was published after Pistorius returned from the London Olympics.

He found that his girlfriend had allegedly cheated on him with coal-mining millionaire and Clifton Shores TV producer Quinton van der Burgh.

Enraged, he allegedly threatened to break the legs of Van der Burgh’s friend, former soccer star Marc Batchelor, who played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows.

The threats reportedly became so intense that a charge of defamation was laid against Pistorius.

The Paralympian in turn laid a charge of intimidation with the Hawks against Batchelor.

The saga started when Pistorius allegedly confronted Van der Burgh in a VIP room at the Kyalami racetrack soon after the athlete’s return from last year’s Paralympics.

Pistorius refused to comment at the time. “This is not something I want to talk about,” he said.

Pistorius was not scared to defend himself, a New York Times journalist who interviewed the Olympian once said. The journalist was shocked to see the athlete grab a gun and creep down the corridor when he heard a noise in his house.

He later took the journalist to a gun range and told him he goes there when he struggles to sleep at night.

In November, Pistorius tweeted: “Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry! Waa”

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The Star