'Caring' Pistorius more than a killer

Peet van Zyl says with the shooting Oscar Pistorius has lost everything.

Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria during sentencing procedures for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on 13 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius's agent Peet van Zyl has described his client's spectacular fall from global athletics icon and philanthropist to convicted killer who has been shunned by his sponsors.

This was among the evidence led by his defence team in the High Court in Pretoria today, as they argued for a minimum sentence, despite fierce opposition by state Prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Nel says Pistorius was grossly negligent when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year and should be punished for his actions.

"The sentence between gross negligence and committing crime in the blink of an eye should be different."

The Paralympian and Olympian athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide for the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Van Zyl says while the one side of Pistorius was that of a global athletics icon, the other was a deeply caring and charitable person.

"He's donating some of his money to people with disabilities to help them have prosthetics."

He says Pistorius was dedicated to helping disabled people.

"He gave them hope and also made the effort of giving them advice."

Van Zyl says with the shooting, his client has lost everything.


Earlier the Blade runner's personal psychologist described him as a broken man who is unlikely to recover from the trauma of killing his girlfriend.

Dr Lore Hartzenberg has been counselling Pistorius for 18 months.

Hartzenberg says the athlete believed that Steenkamp was the woman for him, and wanted to share everything in his life with her.

Pistorius understood he was ultimately responsible for her death and was extremely emotional during his sessions with the psychologist.

"We are left with a broken man who has lost everything from his relationship with Steenkamp, his moral and professional reputation."

Hartzenberg says Pistorius has shown remorse but it will take time for him to recover as he his self-worth and dignity has been damaged.

Earlier, a social worker for the Correctional Services Department recommended that the athlete be placed under supervision and perform community service as part of his sentence for killing Steenkamp.

Joel Maringa said that the convicted killer is a first-time offender and has already been subjected to punishment through his traumatic encounter.

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Follow the court proceedings live on EWN's Oscar Pistorius trial blog.