Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Pistorius supported by fans: agent

Barry Steenkamp sympathised that Oscar Pistorius hero must be 'going through a difficult time' after his daughter Reeva was shot dead (AP)
Barry Steenkamp sympathised that Oscar Pistorius hero must be 'going through a difficult time' after his daughter Reeva was shot dead (AP)

The agent of Oscar Pistorius says the double-amputee Olympian has received "overwhelming support" from fans as he remains in custody in a South African police station charged with the shooting murder of his model girlfriend.

Peet van Zyl said on Sunday outside the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria that "international fans from literally all over the world" have sent their good wishes to Pistorius.

Mr Van Zyl says he visited Pistorius at the station to discuss his running career "and the plans that we have made for this year". He would not comment on how the 26-year-old athlete was and what his mental and emotional state was.

Mr Van Zyl called Reeva Steenkamp's killing at Pistorius' house "a tragic circumstance" and said he also visited Pistorius as a friend "to give him my moral support". He said there is "no option" but to cancel Pistorius' track dates indefinitely "to allow Oscar to concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings".

The statement read: "I have decided that following these tragic events that we have no option but to cancel all future races that Oscar Pistorius had been contracted to compete in, to allow Oscar to concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings and to help and support all those involved as they try to come to terms with this very difficult and distressing situation."

Pistorius was contracted to compete in the Manchester City Games on May 25, following Qantas Tour races in Australia on March 9 and 16, as well as meetings in Rio de Janeiro (March 31) and Iowa (April 26). The statement continued: "Further competitions were being discussed as Oscar focused on the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August as the highlight for his season.

"Regarding sponsors and partners, I can confirm that at this point in time, all parties are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained. They have said they are happy to let the legal process takes its course before making any change in their position.

"On Oscar's behalf, we, as his management company, would like to formally thank the thousands of people who have sent supportive messages which have come from all over the world."

Meanwhile, the family of Ms Steenkamp says her body is back in her hometown of Port Elizabeth and a private funeral has been planned for Tuesday. Adam Steenkamp, the late model and law graduate's brother, said: "Reeva is back home." The family said on Sunday that Ms Steenkamp will be cremated in a ceremony closed to the public and the media in the city on South Africa's southern coast.

Pistorius was charged with her murder and is expected to make a court appearance on Tuesday for his bail hearing. Ms Steenkamp, 29, was seen laughing and smiling on South African television on Saturday night after national broadcaster SABC chose to air the first episode of a reality TV show she featured in.

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