Pistorius case - Pistorius family 'deeply concerned' by father's comments

The family of Oscar Pistorius have distanced themselves from controversial comments made by his father about gun culture in South Africa.

Pistorius case - Pistorius family 'deeply concerned' by father's comments

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Oscar Pistorius's sister Aimee and father Henke confer during a break in court proceedings (Reuters)

On Sunday, Henke Pistorius came out and blamed the ANC government for failing to protect white families while also revealing that he and other members of the family owned a total of 55 guns to protect them from criminals.

"Some of the guns are for hunting and some are for protection. It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country, it's an aspect of our society," he told the Telegraph.

"You can't rely on the police, not because they are inefficient always but because crime is so rife."

In response, Arnold Pistorius, who is Henke's brother and Oscar's uncle said in a statement: "Oscar Pistorius' family is deeply concerned about the comments made by Oscar's father, Henke Pistorius, to the Telegraph about the family using its weapons to defend themselves against crime in South Africa, and especially about his comments that the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans," he said.

"Oscar and the rest of the Pistorius family distances itself from the comments. Henke's interview with the newspaper was unapproved by our media liaison team. The comments don't represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family." 

The ANC also released a statement declaring Henke's comments "racist."

"The African National Congress rejects with contempt the accusation made by Henke Pistorius (the father to Oscar Pistorius) to a UK newspaper that 'the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans'," said their national spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

"Not only is this statement devoid of truth, it is also racist. It is sad that he has chosen to politicise a tragic incident that is still fresh in the minds of those affected and the public. This tragic incident has affected two families that are still trying to come to terms with what happened and this latest racist slur is not assisting these families. We think it is ill-advisable for anyone to start apportioning undue blame.

"The ANC believes that the Pistorius and (Reeva) Steenkamp matter is in the capable hands of our competent courts who are expected to handle the matter objectively and in accordance with our laws. Any speculation can only prejudice the case."

Last month South African Olympic and Paralympic star Pistorius was awarded bail after being accused of murdering his girlfriend Steenkamp.

A South African court granted bail to Pistorius after his lawyers successfully argued the "Blade Runner" was too famous to flee justice.

Prosecutors argued Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he fired four shots into a locked toilet door, hitting his girlfriend on the other side. Steenkamp, 29, suffered gunshot wounds to her head, hip and arm.

Pistorius said the killing was a tragic mistake, saying he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder - and opened fire in a blind panic.

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