The State in the Oscar Pistorius trial says the convicted killer is not as generous and kind as his former manager portrays him as being.
Peet Van Zyl was under cross-examination by Prosecutor Gerrie Nel after testifying in mitigation of sentence.
On Monday, Van Zyl told the North Gauteng High Court about a lot of work that Pistorius has done for Unicef and other charities around the world including individuals.
Van Zyl says Pistorius lost millions of rands in endorsements just after Reeva Steenkamp’s shooting on Valentine’s Day last year. Nel says Pistorius’s work is not peculiar to him.
In his cross-examination, Nel tried to prove to the court that Pistorius was only involved with charity events because he was obligated to do so. This as his numerous sponsors, such as Nike and Oakley, made use of their own people when arranging such charitable events.
Nel argues that Pistorius benefited by advancing his own career when attending such events.
Van Zyl, however, painted a picture of a wealthy athlete that went out of his way to give to the less fortunate.
Van Zyl says he wishes the media would show a “bit more respect” for the culpable homicide-convicted paralympian
Nel has further rejected claims that Pistorius was awarded an honorary doctorate for helping provide prostheses to the disabled.
“You want this court to think he was bestowed a doctorate because of his charity work? It’s not so,” Nel put to Van Zyl.
Nel read an extract from the speech given at the awarding of the doctorate by the University of Strathclyde in 2012. “For what he’s achieved at a young age through sport,” Nel read, referring to the reason for the doctorate.
Van Zyl claimed on Monday that Pistorius was awarded the doctorate for helping the university design prostheses and for his efforts to make them available to the disabled in poor countries.
On the other hand, Van Zyl says he wishes the media would show a “bit more respect” for the culpable homicide-convicted paralympian. He says the media reported facts incorrectly and if they did not do that then maybe Pistorius would still have opportunities.
Advocate Barry Roux, for the defence, is expected call his last witness, a probation officer, before the lunch break. – Additional reporting by Sapa
– By Jacques Steenkamp