Posted on February 24, 2013 at 6:06 PM
JOHANNESBURG -- The family lawyer of Oscar Pistorius said on Sunday that the double amputee athlete's brother is facing a culpable homicide charge for a 2008 road death.
Lawyer Kenny Oldwage would not confirm details of the case Carl Pistorius is facing, but in a statement said Carl had appeared in court the day before his brother's bail hearing last week, and is due in court again at the end of March.
"Carl deeply regrets the accident," Oldwage said in a statement. "Blood tests conducted by the police at the time proved that he had not been under the influence of alcohol, confirming that it was a tragic road accident after the deceased collided with Carl's car."
In his statement, Oldwage said culpable homicide charges had been filed, dropped, and later reinstated after the accident.
Sunday's development compounded problems for the family after Oscar was charged with premeditated murder in the Feb. 14 shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Carl Pistorius was allegedly involved in a crash with a woman motorcyclist and he was supposed to be in court last Thursday, as his brother Oscar was facing a bail hearing, according to local media reports.
Oscar Pistorius was released on bail Friday and his brother Carl was seen driving into the home of their uncle Arnold early Sunday in Waterkloof, a wealthy suburb of Pretoria, the nation's capital, where Oscar is now staying.
The problems surrounding his older brother Carl are the latest twist in a case that has transfixed South Africa and much of the world. Sunday's revelation of the culpable homicide charge immediately created a stir.
"It's also doubly sad because it's involved with Oscar and his brother and all the family — so they have double sort of trouble. So, not good," said Johannesburg resident Jim Plester.
Oscar Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder, but the athlete says he killed his girlfriend accidentally, opening fire after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.
The Pistorius family has yet to react to the accusations that Carl is facing.
On Saturday, the family took steps to lower its profile on social media after someone hacked into the Twitter account of Carl. They cancelled all the social media sites for both Oscar's brother and his sister Aimee.
Carl has always been close to Oscar but was notably absent when their uncle Arnold, flanked by Oscar's sister Aimee, read out a first reaction to the shooting on Feb. 17, even though he was also on the premises.
The three-story house where Pistorius is staying with his aunt and uncle lies on a hill with a sweeping view of Pretoria. It has a large swimming pool and an immaculate garden.
The character of Pistorius also continued to take center stage. For many, it mirrors his public appearances as an articulate, well-spoken advocate for Paralympic athletes facing hardship. Witness statements backing up Oscar Pistorius as a down-to-earth guy were presented at the hearing.
Others have described him as a reckless risk taker who has been in trouble before, such as a boat accident in 2009 which put him into the hospital.
On Sunday, a South African man who said Steenkamp had stayed at his home since September, described Pistorius as moody and impatient. Cecil Myers, whose daughter was a close friend of Steenkamp's, said in an interview published Sunday in the City Press newspaper, that Pistorius will have the killing of Steenkamp on his conscience. "I hope he gets a long sentence. Gets what he deserves," said Myers.
"Very nice and charming to us when they started dating," said Myers. Myers said Pistorius initially used to come into the house but later just dropped Steenkamp off and picked her up when they began to date steadily, and he described the change as a lack of respect.
Myers recalled their first date and told the newspaper: "After that he wouldn't leave her alone. He kept pestering her, phoning and phoning and phoning her."
According to Myers, Steenkamp "told me he pushed her a bit into a corner. She felt caged in."
Pistorius was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect and his legs were amputated when he was 11 months old. He has run on carbon-fiber blades and was originally banned from competing against able-bodied peers because many argued that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. He was later cleared to compete. He is a multiple Paralympic medalist, and won a silver medal at the 2011 Daegu world championships with South Africa's 4x400 relay team. But he failed to win a medal at the London Olympics, where he ran in the 400 meter race and the 4x400 relay race.