PRETORIA, Mar 20 – Oscar Pistorius plans to sell the upmarket $460,000 (Sh39million) Pretoria house where he shot dead his girlfriend last year to cover the legal fees for his murder trial, his lawyer said Thursday.
“It has become necessary to sell Mr Pistorius’s home in the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria in order for him to raise the necessary funds to cover his increasing legal costs,” the 27-year-old’s lawyer Brian Webber said in a statement.
“This is due to the unexpected extension of the trial beyond the initial three-week period for which it was originally set down.”
Estate agent Ansie Louw, who is handling the sale, told AFP the house will be sold in a closed bid, starting at five million rand.
The Paralympic athlete has been paying his own legal fees since he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year, according to the statement.
The costs – reportedly as high as $9,000 (Sh778,000) a day – are said to include at least three full-time lawyers in court, ballistics and forensics experts as well as an American crime scene reconstruction company.
Since the shooting Pistorius has been living at his uncle’s house in Pretoria.
Prosecutors have charged the double-amputee sprinter with intentionally killing 29-year-old Steenkamp after an argument, and are expected to wrap up their case early next week. READ: Pistorius ordered six new guns before lover’s death.
Pistorius insists he fired four shots through a locked toilet door after mistaking the model for an intruder.
The authorities turned the runner’s home in the gated community back over to him over a year ago and he had planned to keep it sealed until the trial finished.