Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius has sold the upmarket Pretoria home where he shot dead his girlfriend, his estate agent said on Friday, amid mounting legal fees resulting from a lengthy murder trial.
“We have a buyer,” Ansie Louw said. The house, valued at upwards of $480,000, was put on the market earlier this year as the “Blade Runner” struggled to pay a small army of lawyers who are fighting murder charges on his behalf.
They include three of South Africa’s leading defence attorneys, a raft of ballistics and forensic experts and an American crime scene reconstruction company.
The total cost is estimated at $9,000 a day. His trial, initially slated to last three weeks, is now in its third month.
In March, one of his lawyers Brian Webber said the athlete has been paying his own legal fees. “It has become necessary to sell Pistorius’s home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs,” Webber had said at the time.
Since the shooting, Pistorius has been living at his uncle’s house in Pretoria. The former Olympian has also lost many of the endorsement deals that earned him some $ 510,000 a year.
At the time of his bail hearing, Pistorius also owned two other houses with a combined value of 1.5 million rand (around $145,000) in Pretoria, and a vacant plot worth 1.6 million rand in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, a ballistics expert testifying for Pistorius’s defence said on Friday the bullets that hit Reeva Steenkamp were not in the order prosecutors claimed, offering key evidence in the star’s murder trial.
Wollie Wolmarans sought to show that the sequence of the bullets showed Reeva was reaching for the toilet door, and not putting her hands to her face defensively.
The model’s final movements have been used by the defence to show Pistorius shot the 29-year-old mistaking her for an intruder, while the prosecution has sought to show he knew she was in the cubicle and wilfully fired.