15 Oct 2014

Oscar Pistorius offered 'blood money'

2:05 pm on 15 October 2014

Athlete Oscar Pistorius offered a large cash sum to the parents of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after he killed her - but it was rejected as "blood money", a South African court has heard.

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius during his sentencing hearing. Photo: AFP

Pistorius's offer of about $NZ42,000 was revealed by prosecutor Gerrie Nel during his sentencing hearing.

Earlier, a defence witness told the court that Pistorius would be physically at risk if sent to prison.

He has been found guilty of culpable homicide, but cleared of murder.

The defence is trying to show that prison would be an inappropriate punishment.

Pistorius' offer of a lump sum to the Steenkamp family emerged on the second day of his sentencing hearing, during the cross-examination of defence witness Annette Vergeer.

Mr Nel told Ms Vergeer that Pistorius raised the funds from selling his car.

The prosecutor added that Reeva Steenkamp's mother, June, had rejected the offer. "She does not want blood money," he said.

He also highlighted separate monthly payments made by Pistorius to the Steenkamps - who were short of money after their daughter's death.

Mr Nel said these funds - mentioned in Ms Vergeer's report - would be "paid back to the accused in full - every cent."

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