Pistorius 'played along' with alleged scamster, alerted authorities

2016-03-22 13:06

Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius "played along" with a man who allegedly tried to swindle R250 000 out of him, and alerted authorities, the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court heard on Tuesday.

Tshifiwa Reuben Radzhadzi, 33, appeared in the court on charges of corruption and extortion. 

He allegedly approached Pistorius and demanded the money, claiming he could quash his murder conviction, according to an affidavit the State read to the court.

Wearing a grey and white jersey and jeans, Radzhadzi kept his head covered as he came up the stairs into the court.

As he stood in the dock, he only slightly revealed his face when the magistrate asked him to do so.

The Venda speaker followed proceedings through a Tswana-speaking interpreter.

He claimed to be part of a team, working alongside the prosecutor in Pistorius's murder trial, Gerrie Nel. He allegedly said he needed payment for himself and his team.

"Mr Pistorius played along and then alerted authorities," the prosecutor told the court.  

A sting operation was set up and Radzhadzi was arrested after he collected R40 000 near the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

It had since been established that Radzhadzi was not a National Prosecuting Authority employee. Nel said Radzhadzi was being opportunistic and he did not know him.

Through his lawyer, Radzhadzi informed the court that he had kidney problems. The magistrate agreed for him to be given medication while he remained behind bars. He was expected to apply for bail on Thursday.

The State still had to verify whether he had any previous convictions.

Pistorius, a former Paralympic athlete, is expected to be sentenced on April 18 for the February 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

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