ANC rejects "racist" statement by Pistorius’ father

Cape Town, March 6: The African National Congress (ANC) has refuted a statement by the father of murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius that “the ANC government is not willing to protect white South Africans”.

Oscar’s father Henke Pistorius told British dailies The Telegraph and the Daily Mirror that his son needed guns because the ANC government failed to protect white people, reports Xinhua.

Refuting the comments, ANC said: “Not only is this statement devoid of truth, it is also racist. It is sad that he has chosen to politicize a tragic incident that is still fresh in the minds of those affected and the public.”

Oscar, known as Blade Runner, shot dead his girl friend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home February 14, allegedly by mistake. He currently is on bail, awaiting murder trials.

“This tragic incident has affected two families that are still trying to come to terms with what happened and this latest racist slur is not assisting these families. We think it is ill-advisable for anyone to start apportioning undue blame,” the ANC said.

“The ANC believes that the Pistorius and Steenkamp matter is in the capable hands of our competent courts who are expected to handle the matter objectively and in accordance with our laws. Any speculation can only prejudice the case.”

The Pistorius family issued a statement Tuesday, distancing itself from Henke.

The statement said Pistorius’ family was “deeply concerned about the comments made” and that it distanced itself from them.

“The Pistorius family own weapons purely for sport and hunting purposes,” said Arnold Pistorius, the family spokesperson and the athlete’s uncle.

“Henke’s interview with the newspaper was unapproved by our media liaison team,” Arnold said.

“The comments (don’t) represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family.”

The ANC welcomed the statement of the Pistorius family.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said: “The ANC believes that this is a difficult period that both families are going through.

“We call on South Africans to desist from wild and prejudiced speculation. Let us give our courts a chance to deal with this matter.”

IANS