In the week during which Oscar Pistorius walked on his stumps in court and pictures of his murdered girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, were released to the public, it emerged that family members had received threats that Pistorius would be gang raped in prison.
Police confirmed that they were investigating a case of intimidation after the threats were made in a series of Whats App messages sent to Pistorius’ cousin Arnoldus Kurt Pistorius on Thursday. The family laid criminal charges, submitting all their evidence to the Garsfontein Police Station.
According to the statement made at the station on the case of intimidation, it was not only Pistorius being targeted; his cousins were also threatened.
In his statement to the police, seen by City Press, Arnoldus said that on Thursday he received a Whats App message from an unknown number. The sender asked him to verify if he was Pistorius’ cousin, which he did. The person then claimed to have evidence that state prosecutor Gerrie Nel had paid a prison nurse to lie in court.
City Press understands he allegedly proposed that the information be used to weaken the state’s case against Oscar and to discredit the testimony that Kgosi Mampuru II correctional services assistant health manager and professional nurse Charlotte Mashobane had given.
Mashobane’s testimony painted Oscar as a person who had anger issues, which served as evidence in aggravation of his pending murder sentence.
Arnoldus said that he did not respond to the phone messages as he suspected that the sender wanted money in exchange for the alleged evidence against Nel.
He referred to the incident in March, when a 33-year-old man was arrested for masquerading as an official from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after promising to have the former Paralympian’s murder case quashed.
According to the Hawks, the man had allegedly demanded R250 000 from the athlete in exchange for the disappearance of his murder docket.
Arnoldus told City Press on Friday that when the suspect realized he was not interested, he started making threats, including that Oscar would be gang raped on his return to jail.
One message read: “You don’t need my help ‘jou ma se xxx’: … when Oscar returns to jail I will ensure that he is gang raped also he will suffer and I will have my man beat him properly. Your children will be murdered as well … you will ruin your nephew [the criminal thought he was talking to Oscar’s uncle Arnold].”
Arnoldus added that he and his cousins had been getting death threats, and the family had increased security at home.
When City Press contacted the number from which the threats had been made, the man refused to identify himself but confirmed having contacted Arnoldus.
He denied having made death threats.
“I have recordings and evidence that can prove that the prison nurse was paid and that the deceased’s family (the Steenkamps) made threats to Oscar. I was in court this week and overheard them make threats against Oscar,” he said.
When pressed to share the information, the man, who claimed to be a businessman, said he would charge R5 000 for the information. He immediately demanded 30% of the money upfront and 70% when the job was done.
He also sent City Press a Whats App message, saying: “I have all stuff from a source at NPA.” When told that City Press did not pay for information, he refused to provide the recordings or engage any further.
Oscar will be sentenced on July 6 for the murder of his model girlfriend on February 14 2013. Throughout the trial, he has maintained that he mistook her for a burglar before firing four shots through the door of his bathroom.
In March, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the North Gauteng High Court’s conviction on a charge of culpable homicide to murder. Because of the high-profile nature of the case, it has been referred to the Hawks for further investigation. Hawks’ spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed they were investigating the case.