Oscar Pistorius is broke

2014-03-23 14:01

Bidding opened this weekend for Oscar Pistorius’ house.

His estate agent, Ansie Louw – the wife of Pistorius’ longtime coach, Ampie Louw – has the sole mandate to sell the property.

Louw told City Press yesterday that bidding had opened on the house in which Pistorius shot and killed his ­girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but ­declined to reveal how many bids she had ­received so far.

“The bidding process is now opened, but I cannot comment until we have closed it, which will be on March 31.”

Pistorius has been forced to sell his house after racking up a small fortune in legal fees since his trial began on March 3.

As his lucrative endorsement deals with luxury sports brands Nike and Oakley came to an abrupt end after the shooting on Valentine’s Day last year, his lawyers announced in a statement on Thursday that he has to sell his home.

His lawyer Brian Webber said: “It has become necessary to sell Mr Pistorius’ home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his ­increasing legal costs.

“This is due to the unexpected extension of the trial beyond the initial three-week period for which it was originally set down.”

But nobody – including Pistorius’ defence team – expected the trial to last for only three weeks.

Webber told City Press that Pistorius currently had “no source of income” and that the Paralympian was footing the bill for his legal costs.

After he competed in the Olympic Games in London in 2012, City Press ­reported that Pistorius was the country’s highest-paid track and field athlete.

Even before the Olympics, business and marketing firms had estimated his annual earnings to be more than R20?million.

But Pistorius has not competed professionally since 2012 and his lawyers don’t come cheap.

The UK’s Channel 4 reported that his legal team, which ­includes Advocate Barry Roux, junior Advocate Kenny Oldwage and Webber, costs him R100?000 a day.

He has also hired forensic ­experts, one of whom is from the US.

Afrikaans daily Beeld reported on Friday that Pistorius’ legal team could have already cost him more than R1?million for the 13 days his trial has lasted.

The paper based its calculations on Roux’s daily rate of R35?000, Oldwage’s R24?000 a day and Webber’s costs of R20?000 a day.

Louw told Beeld that his home could not be sold the traditional way.

“You can just imagine how curious ­people would flock to the house and ­distribute photographs of it,” she said.

“I expect that we will eventually probably draw more foreign buyers, people who buy with a view to invest.”

During his bail application, Pistorius had his house valued at R5?million, but it ­remains to be seen whether it would sell for that.

His lawyers say they want to wrap up the sale as quickly as possible. They also say he cannot face living in the home where he killed his girlfriend.

Pistorius was going to keep the house sealed until after the trial, but his financial woes have forced him to sell.

“Due to the delay in finalising the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset had to be made,” his lawyers said.

Pistorius is currently living with his uncle ­Arnold Pistorius on his estate in Pretoria.

SA’s most expensive advocates

South Africa’s most senior advocates are making a handsome living.

Last year, City Press reported that some were earning R45 000 a day, but recent reports show that for others the daily rate can be set as high as R60 000.

This, though, depends on the complexity of the case and the identity of the accused.

Some of the country’s priciest legal minds include:

South Africa’s most senior advocates are making a handsome living. Last year, City Press reported that some were earning R45?000 a day, but recent reports show that for others, the daily rate can be set as high as R60?000.

But this depends on the complexity of the case and the identity of the accused.

Some of the country’s priciest legal minds include:

»?Advocate Kemp J Kemp, who represented President Jacob Zuma during his rape trial and his corruption case in the mid-2000s, and reportedly charged between R24?000 and R36?000 a day at the time;

»?Senior Advocate Ajay Sooklal, who also represented Zuma as well as his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, charged between R18?000 and R33?000 a day when he represented arms company Thales SA in 2006;

»?Advocate Ishmael Semenya (SC) and Frank Mathibedi (SC), who represent the police at the Farlam commission of inquiry into the shooting of miners in Marikana, are reportedly paid in the region of R30?000 a day; and

»?Economic Freedom Fighters Gauteng premier candidate Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represents the miners before the Farlam commission, is being paid R15?000 day by Legal Aid SA.

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