Oscar takes ‘beautiful’ young woman to see his racy R1.5m Audi R8

2013-06-30 14:00

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Olympic athlete and murder suspect Oscar Pistorius is once more looking for speed – in the form of a luxury Audi R8.

Pistorius (26) was twice seen at an Audi dealership in Johannesburg recently, where he is allegedly buying an R8.

The cheapest version costs R1.5 million and the fastest reaches 317km/h.

Witnesses say that at the first visit, the paralympic hero was surrounded by bodyguards.

A few days later, a “beautiful” female companion was by his side.

City Press’ sister newspaper, Rapport, has learnt from a source that Pistorius ordered the Audi at the Audi Rivonia dealership in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, last week.

City Press spoke to two sources close to the dealership.

According to one, a “brash” Pistorius arrived with several bodyguards last week.

He was apparently “demanding” to know about the delivery of the sports car.

Pistorius, who is facing charges of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February, lost about R40?million of income when numerous sponsorships were cancelled after his arrest. His legal costs are expected to run into millions.

Two employees at Audi Rivonia confirmed when called on Thursday that he and a “beautiful” young woman had been there the previous day.

They said Pistorius arrived in a Range Rover.

The sources said a red Audi R8 was delivered recently, but they couldn’t confirm whether this car was destined for Pistorius.

The Audi Centre declined to comment officially.

Anneliese Burgess, a spokesperson for the Pistorius family, initially said Oscar had gone to buy a car, but denied it was for him.

“Arnold Pistorius (his uncle) said he sent Oscar there to buy a car for him.”

Later, Burgess had a different story. She misunderstood Arnold Pistorius because he “whispered” to her as he was phoning from a meeting.

She said the facts were that Pistorius had gone to trade in his car for a second-hand Audi, but she would not disclose the model.

She confirmed that Pistorius had gone to the dealership for a second time, but said the visit was meant to take care of the “paperwork” for his uncle, who had also bought an Audi there.

And that was not a luxurious R8, she said.

Burgess also says Oscar’s female companion was his cousin and denied that he was accompanied by bodyguards on the first occasion.

In December, the Sunday Times reported that Oscar bought himself a McLaren supercar worth more than R3?million to celebrate his successful year.

Meanwhile, Oscar has put on his blades again and braved the athletics track in search of “mental and emotional balance”, Burgess said on Thursday.

He has resumed a “modest exercise routine”, though he is not considering a return to formal athletics.

“His family and those close to him encouraged him to spend a few hours a week on the track to help him find the mental and emotional balance he requires to deal with his trauma and to prepare himself for trial,” she said.

A short video was also issued showing a bearded Pistorius in a Nike jacket sprinting on the tartan track at the University of Pretoria.

Pistorius’ trial resumes on August 19.

For the record

City Press apologises to Oscar Pistorius for causing him unnecessary harm by reporting on the allegations, which later proved to be false, that he had bought a fast and expensive Audi R8 sports car and for publishing headlines and a picture of such a car that served to aggravate the above-mentioned harm.

We also apologise for reporting that he was allegedly accompanied by bodyguards and a beautiful woman (wrongly insinuating that this may have been his girlfriend) and that he had been “brash” and “demanding” at the dealership.

After we published the story this year, “Oscar takes ‘beautiful’ young woman to see his racy R1.5m Audi R8” (City Press, June 30 2013), the Pistorius family supplied the press ombudsman with evidence showing that our information regarding the Audi R8 was incorrect.

The ombudsman, Johan Retief, said we were justified to publish the information at our disposal, but that it later became clear this was incorrect and had caused Pistorius unnecessary harm.

He said Pistorius had, in fact, bought a used car that cost much less than R1.5 million and this car would probably not have been able to reach a speed of 317km/h (as we reported).

But the ombudsman would not accept that our coverage would result in an unfair trial (Pistorius stands accused of murdering his former girlfriend), as argued by his attorney. “That would indeed question the integrity of our judicial system,” said Retief.

» See www.presscouncil.org.za for the full finding

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