Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympian on trial for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is selling his house where the shooting took place to fund the costs of a longer-than-expected murder trial, his law firm said.
“Due to the delay in finalizing the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset has had to be made,” Brian Webber, Ramsay Webber Inc. said in a statement on the athlete’s website today. “Mr. Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again.”
The property was valued at 5 million rand ($456,000), according to Pistorius’s bail-application statement from February last year. The 27-year-old had two other properties in east Pretoria worth about 1.6 million rand and a vacant piece of land in Langebaan, a coastal town 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Cape Town, according to the bail statement.
Pistorius shot Steenkamp three times on Valentine’s Day last year through a locked toilet door in a bathroom next to his upstairs bedroom. He said he thought she was an intruder and has pleaded not guilty to murder in a trial currently taking place in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. The house is in Silver Woods Country Estate, a gated community in the capital city.
The trial that started March 3 was originally scheduled to run for three weeks. It has been extended until at least April 4.
The charges have derailed the running career of the winner of six Paralympic gold medals and cost Pistorius sponsorship deals with Nike Inc. and Luxottica Group SpA (LUX)’s Oakley. Ossur hf, the Icelandic company that manufactures the blades used by Pistorius, said on March 14 it had severed ties with the athlete.
Pistorius was the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics Games in London in 2012.