Experts weigh in on Carl Pistorius's right to silence

The police and NPA confirmed yesterday that Carl will face a charge of reckless and negligent driving.

FILE: Carl Pistorius. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - As police prepare to charge Carl Pistorius in connection with a head-on collision in August, a criminal law expert says an accused is entirely within his right not to give a statement to the police.

The police and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed yesterday that Pstorius will face a charge of reckless and negligent driving, following an accident on the N1 in Limpopo last year in which he was nearly killed.

He was travelling to Pretoria when a car allegedly swerved into oncoming traffic and caused the head-on collision. Pistorius was badly injured, and was hospitalised for several weeks. The accident happened a month before his brother, paralympian Oscar Pistorius, was convicted of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Carl Pistorius has yet to submit a statement to police.

Criminal law expert James Grant says everyone enjoys the right to remain silent.

"One should be cautioned that there are certain implications that arise when you do exercise and some of those might not be in your favour."

With two parties involved in the collision, and only one having been charged so far, Grant says the inference is clear.

"The police would investigate, they would gather all the evidence and they would present that to the prosecutor and the prosecuting service would then decide whether to prosecute or not."

The NPA will only take Pistorius's fingerprints and formally charge him for reckless and negligent driving next month in the Modimolle Magistrates Court.

This is not the first time Carl has been in the spotlight for landing on the wrong side of the law.

In 2008, Carl was involved in a collision in which a motorcyclist died. He was charged with culpable homicide, but later acquitted.

Eyewitness News last year reported that he narrowly escaped prosecution after police discovered he'd allegedly tampered with his brother Oscar Pistorius's phone in the days after Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead.

It's understood investigators considered charging him with defeating the ends of justice, but ultimately declined to proceed with a case against him.

A study of the data extracted from Pistorius's personal phone, shows the entire call history and every WhatsApp message was deleted, as well as several messages sent to the device after the shooting.

The phone was only handed to the police a full 12 days after Steenkamp was killed.