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Testimony: Pistorius Offered Cash to Girlfriend's Family

  • VOA News

A prosecutor said Oscar Pistorius offered about $34,000 to the family of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after killing her, but the family rejected the money.

Word of the offer came out Tuesday, the second day of the sentencing hearing for Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Steenkamp's family rejected the offer because they did not want "blood money" from the Olympic and Paralympic athlete, who was convicted of culpable homicide - South Africa's equivalent of manslaughter - for shooting Steenkamp in his house last year.

Nel also said the family would return smaller payments they have received from Pistorius each month.

The revelation about the payments occurred as Nels was questioning social worker Annette Vergeer, who recommended Pistorius be placed under house arrest rather than sent to prison.

Prison would 'break' Pistorius

Vergeer, who was paid by the defense to produce her report, said she believed prison would "break" Pistorius, and added that South African prisons were not conducive to the disabled.

Vergeer testified she believes the double amputee would be vulnerable in prison if other inmates took away his artificial legs.

"Without legs, he will be vulnerable and a lot more vulnerable than the normal man," she said.

Judge Thokozile Maspia could sentence Pistorius to up to 15 years in prison. The hearing is expected to last for several days.

Some material for this report came from AP and Reuters.

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