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By Ilse de Lange


Oscar’s manager blames media for fall

Oscar Pistorius still received offers to act as motivational speaker, despite his conviction on a charge of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius’ manager Peet van Zyl yesterday testified in the North Gauteng High Court that he had not discussed the continuation of Pistorius’ athletic career, but saw a future for him based on his charitable foundation aimed at giving destitute disabled people the gift of mobility.

Pistorius also still received offers to act as motivational speaker, although all of his sponsorships had been cancelled after his conviction.

Van Zyl said he did not see Pistorius as a victim and conceded that Pistorius only had himself to blame for the fact that he had lost his sporting career and opportunities to act as inspirational speaker at big corporate events.

He withdrew a remark that the state was to blame for Pistorius’ fall from grace, but reiterated his stance that the media was to blame.

He said if Reeva’s death had been handled “with more respect” in the media, things might have been different for Pistorius.

To questions by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Van Zyl conceded that a lot of the charities supported by Pistorius had formed part of his duties to major sponsors such as Oakley and Nike.

He conceded that most high profile sports stars were involved in charities because it was good for their image, but added that many sports stars really wanted to use their international platform to make a difference in the lives of others.

Van Zyl also conceded that Pistorius had been awarded an honorary doctorate from a university in Glasgow for his achievement on the sports field rather than his work with the university developing prosthetics.

He conceded that Pistorius had used appearance fees and his budget at Nike to pay for some charitable contributions, but insisted Pistorius had also used his own money and gave freely of his own time to assist especially disabled children.

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