1 minute read
15 Jul 2014
3:02 pm

Nightclub fight has no bearing on Oscar trial

An alleged altercation in a Johannesburg nightclub will have no bearing on paralympian Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, lead detective Vineshkumar Moonoo said on Tuesday.

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, 8 July 2014.Final arguments in the murder trial will be heard on August 7, the High Court ruled on Tuesday after the defence closed its case. Picture:Alon Skuy/Times Media Group/Pool

“There is no complaint laid so we are not investigating,” he said.

“[It] has no bearing on his trial.”

According to the Pistorius family spokeswoman, Anneliese Burgess, the athlete was at the VIP section of a Sandton nightclub when he was approached by a man.

The man, who has since been identified as Johannesburg businessman Jared Mortimer, “started to aggressively interrogate” Pistorius on matters relating to his trial, said Burgess.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her dead through a locked toilet door at his Pretoria home.

The State, however, claims he shot her following an argument.

In The Star newspaper earlier on Tuesday, Mortimer claimed that Pistorius insulted President Jacob Zuma’s family and his own friends, resulting in an altercation on Saturday night.

“I took that personally because I am very good friends with a member of the Zuma family,” he was quoted as saying.

Mortimer claimed Pistorius was intoxicated and started to poke him in the chest while they were talking. He then pushed Pistorius away from him and the paralympian fell over a chair.

The club’s bouncers helped Pistorius up, but were asked to remove him after he “had a confrontation with another man”, Mortimer said.

Officials from the club – the VIP Room, which is at the Michelangelo Towers in Sandton – have denied the incident.

Spokesman Perry Mermigas admitted that Pistorius was at the club, but denied that anything out of the ordinary happened.

“We are not aware of this,” Mermigas told Sapa.