Cape Town - After a harrowing week in court and being cross-examined in the dock, Oscar Pistorius has now also been accused of lying to the public by the Sunday Times newspaper.
According to the newspaper, Pistorius, who was desperate to protect his public image and his lucrative sponsorship deals, lied to cover up an assault in December 2012 and also lied about his relationship in January last year with Reeva Steenkamp.
The newspaper reports that exactly one month before he shot Steenkamp, he said in an interview that he was not ready for anything serious. However, it emerged in court this week that he had, at the time, been in a serious relationship with Steenkamp.
Meanwhile, around the same time a Sunday Times reporter was tipped off about an alleged assault involving Pistorius. Both Pistorius and Steenkamp denied that such an incident ever took place. However, in court this week it emerged that Pistorius had in fact been involved in a brawl at a function in Kyalami. He had to get medical attention at Morningside Clinic following the incident.
At the time, Steenkamp also denied the incident and asked the journalist not to run with the story as it would ruin Pistorius’ image. The athlete’s sponsorship deals at the time were worth millions of rands and included contracts with international brands such as Nike and Oakley.
Oscar an egotistical liar - Nel
Pistorius's credibility was consistently questioned at his murder trial on Thursday, as the chief prosecutor argued that theathlete had a string of unlikely excuses why he wasn't to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder for the shooting death of Steenkamp.
Nel asserted that the double-amputee runner wouldn't "accept responsibility for anything" and reacted incredulously to Pistorius's explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.
Pistorius said a friend's pistol, a Glock, went off while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn't pulled the trigger.
The incident happened just weeks before model Steenkamp was shot to death by Pistorius on 14 February 2013.
A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn't be fired without the trigger being pulled.
Nel said: "We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn't discharge the gun?... I'm putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way," Nel said. "You are lying."
"I respect Mr Nel's comment," Pistorius replied, "but I didn't pull the trigger on that firearm."
Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car.
Pistorius said he wasn't guilty of yet another against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after he killed Steenkamp.
Pistorius said his father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to the father. But Nel said Pistorius's father Henke had "refused" to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.
"You just don't want to accept responsibility for anything," Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius's answers to the accusations were short denials.