JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South Africa’s Paralympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius has launched a bid to negotiate an out-of-court deal to pay damages to the parents of his lover whom he killed on Valentine’s Day, a local newspaper said Tuesday.
Lawyers for Pistorius, who goes on trial in March on murder charges for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp, are mulling a settlement for loss of income and emotional stress, The Times reported.
They want the matter settled before trial opens on March 3 next year.
The paper said Pistorius’s lawyer Kenny Oldwage had confirmed that they were in discussions with the Steenkamp family.
But Oldwage told AFP: “I am not aware of these discussions and I can’t comment.”
Steenkamp and her half-brother had financially supported their parents, who are pensioners. The support had included paying rent for their house in the southern coastal city of Port Elizabeth.
The parents are reportedly planning to lodge a civil suit claiming three million rand ($300,000) in damages.
The 26-year-old Pistorius wept and prayed in court on Monday before being served with his indictment and given his trial date.
Steenkamp, a blonde cover girl and law graduate who would have turned 30 on Monday, died in the bathroom of Pistorius’s upmarket Pretoria home in the early hours of February 14.
The double amputee athlete known as “Blade Runner”, who is currently out on bail, has admitted to killing Steenkamp but denied murder, saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door because he believed she was an intruder.
Prosecutors will argue he is guilty of premeditated murder.