South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been formally charged with two extra gun-related offenses, prosecutors said yesterday.
The charges add to those Pistorius already faces over the February 14 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and illegally possessing ammunition.
“The charges are related to the Contravention of the Firearms Act,” Nathi Mncube, spokesman for the National Prosecution Authority, said yesterday.
The new charges relate to two incidents of Pistorius discharging a firearm on two separate occasions before Steenkamp’s death.
In one, Pistorius is accused of firing a gun in a Johannesburg restaurant. In the other, he allegedly shot a gun out of the sunroof of a car.
The new charges had been expected, as part of the prosecution’s effort to centralise disparate gun charges against the sprinter in an effort to paint him as gun crazed.
“Pistorius has been informed about the charges” Mncube said. Pistorius family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess confirmed the charges saying “they were not something new”.
“We understand that an updated indictment has been issued with these two additional charges,” said Burgess. “It’s related to something that happened long time ago.”
The double amputee, known as the “Blade Runner” for the fibreglass prosthetic legs he uses in competition, shocked the world when he admitted to killing Steenkamp, a blonde model and law graduate.
He has however denied murder, saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door in his upmarket Pretoria home because he thought she was an intruder.
Pistorius catapulted to fame at last year’s London Olympics as the first double-amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes.
But the killing sent shock waves around the world and since then his reckless past and love of fast cars, beautiful women and guns has emerged in the media.