Oscar Pistorius was fined for unpaid taxes after having to declare his assets during his bail hearing, a South African newspaper reported yesterday, as the Olympian prepares for his first court appearance in nearly four months.
The City Press said the South African Revenue Service fined the double-amputee runner "less than one million rand" (under HK$810,000), which he paid.
Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his house in Pretoria in the pre-dawn hours of February 14. He will appear in court on June 4 for what prosecutors say will be a brief hearing while the investigation continues. He denies murder and says he shot Steenkamp in error after mistaking her for an intruder.
The 26-year-old declared in a court affidavit during his application to be freed on bail in February that he earned around US$630,000 a year, and owned three houses and a vacant plot in South Africa with a combined value of nearly US$1 million.
The City Press said he owns another house in Johannesburg that it claims he bought for 9.8 million rand this year. This house was not declared as part of his assets in his affidavit. The newspaper did not say if the house was bought before or after the killing of Steenkamp at Pistorius' US$500,000 Pretoria villa, which he said was his main residence.
Much of Pistorius' income is believed to have come from sponsors Nike and Oakley, which suspended their deals with the Paralympic champion after he was charged with murder.
His family has denied reports he is facing financial ruin because of spiralling legal costs. "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," they said in March.
Pistorius also has decided to step away from competition for the rest of the year to focus on his trial, which is likely to be long and expensive for him, and where he will face a life sentence in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.