South Africa’s golden boy, Oscar Pistorius, has had his share of controversy over the past four years.
Internationally known as the Blade Runner, Pistorius, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics despite being a double amputee, is known for his short temper.
In September last year he apologised after publicly lashing out at Brazilian athlete Alan Oliveira, who beat Pistorius to the gold medal in the T44 200 metres at the Paralympic Games.
Pistorius felt Oliveira was unfairly advantaged by his long running blades.
After winning the silver medal, Pistorius said it wasn’t a fair race.
The next morning he apologised to Oliveira.
“I would never want to detract from another athlete’s moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race,” said Pistorius.
In March 2009 Pistorius was admitted to hospital with face injuries after crashing his speedboat on the Vaal River.
After a police investigation into reckless and negligent behaviour, the National Prosecuting Authority decided against prosecuting Pistorius for the incident.
His boat was badly damaged and Pistorius had to undergo facial reconstruction.
He told the Mirror the jetty was submerged and he couldn’t see it when his boat hit a pier.
“I was thrown hard onto the steering wheel. I lost a lot of blood and it was pretty scary. My nose sort of peeled open, my orbital socket disintegrated and my nasal cavity broke from my nose to the top of my jaw.
“I had to be airlifted to hospital and the doctors had to do quite a bit of work,” he said.
Beeld reported at the time that the police had found empty bottles of alcohol on the boat, but that his blood wasn’t tested for alcohol use.
Shortly after the accident, Pistorius prohibited press photographers from taking pictures of an accident scene on the N4 highway in which a friend of his was involved.
Beeld reported that Pistorius’ friend knocked over a pedestrian who died on the scene.
Pistorius allegedly tried to keep photographers away from the scene.
Asked why they couldn’t take photos, the Blade Runner was quoted as saying: “Because I am Oscar Pistorius.”
In September 2009 Pistorius spent a night in custody at the Boschkop police office after allegedly assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a house party.
Casseby Taylor-Memory charged Pistorius with assault after he chased her from his Silver Lakes house.
A wooden log weighing 1.5kg allegedly landed on her leg after Pistorius shut a door at his house.
A month later the National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute Pistorius because they couldn’t prove he had intended to injure her.
After the incident, Pistorius instituted a lawsuit of R6.5 million against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for unlawful arrest and put in a R2.2 million claim of malicious intent against Taylor-Memory.
In November last year, Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, told City Press he was the ultimate player after he left her for model Reeva Steenkamp, who died in this morning’s shooting incident.
“Oscar is certainly not what people think he is. We dated for a year and a half,” Taylor said.
This was after Pistorius was accompanied by Steenkamp to the SA Sports Awards in Sandton – two months after appearing with Taylor on the beaches of the Seychelles in the SABC3 magazine show Top Billing.
Taylor said Pistorius had a “way with women” and that Steenkamp was “probably not the only one he’s got”.
In January, Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson revealed he was a huge fan of Pistorius.
“I’d been watching him for a while,” Jackson told a press conference. “It’s very inspiring to see the dedication of an athlete who can achieve what he’s achieved and I was just so glad that they decided to let him compete in the ordinary Olympics.”