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Neighbours rally in support of Blade Runner

Published Sep 19, 2009


By Sameer Naik

Residents and management of Silverlakes Country Estate, an upmarket housing development east of Pretoria, closed ranks in support of Paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius this week.

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Pistorius was arrested last Saturday at a braai at his home on the estate after 19-year-old Casseby Taylor Memory alleged he had assaulted her.

But now it has been claimed that Memory was so drunk at the time, she wasn't even aware of her behaviour.

Memory and a male friend had apparently stared arguing at Pistorius's house, and he asked them to leave.

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The male friend later returned, but Memory was not allowed back inside the house.

Police spokeswoman Marinda Stoltz said Pistorius had asked Memory to leave and slammed the door. A wooden panel then dislodged from the door and injured her leg. Memory laid a charge with the police, and he was arrested.

Pistorius spent the night at the Boschkop police station and was released the next day with a warning.

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Frans Stander, the estate's general manager, this week spoke of his shock at the arrest.

"Oscar is the most decent man you will ever meet in your life. He treats everyone with so much respect and I have never received a complaint about him since his been living here, that's why I was shocked at what had happened," he said.

Estate security guards praised the Blade Runner for being down to earth and helping out whenever he could.

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Stander added that although Pistorius had thrown numerous parties since he moved in, all of them had been peaceful.

"His parties are loved by everyone, even the old couples at the estate look forward to going to them."

When asked about the incident, Stander said Memory had probably been drunk.

"At parties, alcohol always flows freely, and Memory had a lot to drink. She hit a (stormwater) drain on her way out of the estate," he added.

According to Stoltz, Memory reported the incident to the police only three hours later, and admitted she had been drinking alcohol.

A friend of Pistorius, who did not want to be named, has alleged that Pistorius had been arrested by two incompetent policeman.

However, this is not the first time that Pistorius has landed in hot water.

In February Pistorius had a boating accident on the Vaal Dam which left him with serious facial injuries.

Pistorius claimed he had hit a floating object, but police opened up a case of reckless and negligent driving.

The athlete also stopped Beeld newspaper from taking pictures of him on the N4 highway in Pretoria in March this year, when a friend of his was involved in an accident.

A woman died at the scene of the accident after walking in front of Anneke Kruger's approaching car.

Kruger works for In/sight, the company which manages Pistorius's business interests.

A bystander who asked Pistorius why the photographer couldn't take pictures was told: "Oom, I'm Oscar Pistorius."

Pistorius was scheduled to appear in the Pretoria District Court on Wednesday for the alleged assault, but a decision to prosecute has not yet been made.

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