Oscar's mom kept pistol under pillow, court hears

2014-04-07 13:29
Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Photo24)

Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Photo24)

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Pretoria – Paralympian Oscar Pistorius's mother Sheila kept a pistol under her pillow when he was a child, he told the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

"She kept a firearm in a padded bag under her pillow," he said to questioning from his lawyer Barry Roux.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year.

He was asked whether his mother had any "security concerns".

He said his father was often not around.

"She often got scared at night. We didn't live in the best of areas. There was a lot of crime. She would call the police, call us to her room and we would wait for the police to arrive."

Pistorius said when he was 15 he, his brother Carl and his sister Aimmes was not aware of his mother’s illness and arrived at her bedside 10 minutes before she died.


Pistorius said his mother was very supportive. "She didn't ever want me to see my disability as something that should hold me back," said the double amputee who went on to compete in the Olympic Games.

She allowed him to pursue sports, and if he fell she allowed him to get up for himself.

He went to primary school on the West Rand. In primary school, the prosthetic legs he had were very heavy and did not allow him to be as mobile.

"It was difficult," he said.

He encountered some teasing and bullying for the first time, after growing up to think he was like everyone else.

"I had grown up not thinking I was any different," he said.

He was bullied and pushed around a few times and his parents told him to stand up for himself.

"My family always believed in standing up for yourself and standing up for what you believe in. We were taught that you have got to cope."

He related a story of how mother stood up for him when he stood up to a bully who had pulled his buttons off his shirt.

"Everything we learnt from life I learn from her."

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

He said he thought there was an intruder in his house when he shot and killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day through the door of a toilet in his Pretoria house last year. She had been spending the night.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime

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