JOHANNESBURG, March 07 – South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is to part ways with the public relations firm hired after his arrest over the killing of his girlfriend, the company said on Thursday.
CEO Janine Hills said Vuma Corporate Reputation Management is still working with the star sprinter, but is “in the process of a handover” which began last Friday.
The company was hired amid vast interest from the South African and international media after Pistorius was arrested and accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Hills said the company had initially expected to work with the 26-year-old Pistorius for a couple of weeks, helping to field up to 500 calls and 2,000 emails a day from the media.
“The family was just not strong enough” she said. “The family was not in a position to speak to the media.”
Vuma had been contracted by Pistorius’s chief PR man, the former editor of Britain’s Sun newspaper Stuart Higgins.
Prosecutors have charged Pistorius with the premeditated murder of his 29-year-old girlfriend and he is due back in court in June.
The double-amputee admits shooting Steenkamp repeatedly through a locked bathroom door, but says he mistook her for an intruder.
But at times Pistorius’s PR representatives have often risked becoming the story.
They very publicly chastened Pistorius’s father for claiming that white South Africans need guns because the ANC government does not protect them.
Hills denied the spat with Henke Pistorius was the reason their collaboration was coming to an end.