Pistorius fined for unpaid taxes
JOHANNESBURG - The Associated Press
In this photo taken Friday, Feb. 26, 2013 file photo, Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius appears in court for his bail hearing after being charged with the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in Pretoria, South Africa. AP photoOscar Pistorius was audited and fined for unpaid taxes after having to declare his assets during his bail hearing, a South African newspaper reported Sunday as the Olympian prepares for his first court appearance in nearly four months.
The City Press newspaper said that the South African Revenue Service fined the double-amputee runner "less than one million rand" (under $105,000), which he paid.
Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the Valentine's Day shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his upscale house in Pretoria in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, and will appear in court on June 4 for what prosecutors say will be a brief hearing while the police investigation of his killing of Steenkamp continues.
He denies murder and says he shot Steenkamp in error after mistaking her for an intruder in his home.
The 26-year-old Pistorius declared in a court affidavit during his application to be freed on bail in February that he earned around $630,000 a year and owned three houses and a vacant plot in South Africa with a combined value of nearly $1 million.
The City Press said he owns another house in Johannesburg, which the newspaper claims he bought for 9.8 million rand ($1.02 million) this year. That house was not declared as part of his assets in his affidavit. City Press did not say if that house was bought before or after the killing of Steenkamp at Pistorius' $500,000 Pretoria villa, which Pistorius said was his main residence.
A Pistorius family spokesperson did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment on Sunday.
Much of Pistorius' income is believed to have come from big-name sponsors Nike and eyewear company Oakley, which suspended their deals with the Paralympic champion after he was charged with murder.
His family has denied previous media reports that he is facing financial ruin because of spiraling legal costs, saying in a statement in March that those legal bills, while huge, were "under control."
"While the family doesn't deny that Oscar's legal expenses are massive and that he has sold off some of his investments, including his racehorses ... Oscar will evaluate the cost situation on a day-to-day basis and make decisions as required," the family said.
Pistorius also has decided to step away from competition for the rest of the year to focus on his upcoming trial, which is likely to be long and expensive for him and where he will face a life sentence in prison with a minimum of 25 years before parole if convicted of premeditated murder in Steenkamp's killing.
Prosecutors say Pistorius' June 4 court hearing, the first since bail proceedings and his first public appearance in nearly four months, will likely take less than 10 minutes and the case will be postponed until a date in August while police continue to gather and analyze evidence and identify and interview witnesses.