The brother of Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympian charged with the murder of his girlfriend, is also facing a homicide trial in relation to the death of a woman in a traffic accident – the latest twist in a saga that has gripped South Africa and the sporting world.
The charges against Carl Pistorius, who was in court throughout his brother’s dramatic four-day bail hearing last week, relate to an incident in 2008 during which a female motorcyclist lost her life.
In a statement, Kenny Oldwage, a lawyer who represents the Pistorius family, acknowledged that Carl Pistorius was facing a charge of culpable murder. Mr Oldwage said his client was innocent and that the charge would be challenged in court. “Carl deeply regrets the accident,” he added.
The charges had apparently initially been withdrawn and then reinstated by the National Prosecuting Authority.
The charges are not related to the allegations against Oscar Pistorius, who was granted bail on Friday after being charged with murder in the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 at his home in Pretoria.
Oscar Pistorius has denied the allegations, saying he shot the 29-year-old model and law graduate by mistake after waking up in the middle of the night and believing there was an intruder in his home, which is in a gated compound in the capital.
However, prosecutors allege the killing was a case of premeditated murder, after the double-amputee sprinter, nicknamed the “Blade Runner,” fired four shots through a locked toilet door while his girlfriend was inside.
After four days of arguments at his bail hearing at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, Desmond Nair, the magistrate, granted the 26-year-old bail of R1m, saying he was not a flight risk, had not shown a propensity to commit violence and there was no evidence he would interfere with witnesses.
Mr Pistorius was also ordered to hand over his firearms – he admitted to keeping a 9mm pistol under his bed – and his passports, not to visit his house where the shooting took place and not drink alcohol.
The athlete, who made history by becoming the first double-amputee to compete in track events at the Olympics last year, when he reached the semi-finals of the 400m, is scheduled to reappear in court in June.
Mr Pistorius was born without fibula bones in both his legs, but overcame adversity to become a global star, with his feats on the running track helping to raise the profile of the Paralympics.