Oscar Pistorius has sold the upmarket Pretoria home where he shot dead his girlfriend, his estate agent said Friday (09/05/2014), amid mounting legal fees resulting from a lengthy murder trial.
“We have a buyer,” Ansie Louw told AFP, “we went through all the offers. We have accepted one of the bids and the transfer process is now under way.”
The house, valued at upwards of $480,000 (about R4.9m), 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 (about R90,000) 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 Mr 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 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 (about R5m) 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 today) in Pretoria and a vacant plot worth 1.6 million rand in Cape Town.
Prosecutors have charged the double-amputee sprinter with intentionally killing 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius denies murdering the model on Valentine’s Day last year, saying he shot her in a tragic accident after mistaking her for a night-time intruder. – AFP