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Substance in Pistorius' room 'not testosterone'

Last updated 09:18 25/02/2013
Oscar Pistorius
Reuters
FREE, FOR NOW: Oscar Pistorius leaves the court on his way to his uncle's home in an affluent suburb of Pretoria.
pist
Reuters Zoom
Oscar Pistorius (C) is pictured through a car window as he leaves court after being released on bail.

Charges loom over Pistorius' brother

BROTHER IN TROUBLE: Carl Pistorius, brother of
Reuters
BROTHER IN TROUBLE: Carl Pistorius, brother of "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, is facing culpable homicide charge.

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A substance found in the room of accused murderer Oscar Pistorius was not testosterone, but a herbal sex remedy, South African media have reported.

The "Blade Runner" star, who gained attention at the London Olympics, has been charged with the premeditated murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day.

Steenkamp was shot through the door of a bathroom at Pistorius' home, but a judge on Friday bailed the 26-year-old sportsman to his uncle’s Pretoria home.

Today AFP reported City Press as saying the substance police found in the accused’s home following Steenkamp’s death was not testosterone.

It was a legal mix of herbal cures made partly from animal organs and was used to boost sexual energy, AFP said.

The prosecution claimed the substance had been testosterone, but the defence said the remedy was known as testocompasutium coenzyme.

The National Prosecuting Authority is testing the substance to determine what it is.

Meanwhile, Pistorius’ elder brother, Carl Pistorius, is also facing charges over the killing of a woman in a traffic incident five years ago.

His family said he maintained his innocence.

Carl Pistorius is charged with culpable homicide in the death of a motorcyclist in 2008; the case is unrelated to the Valentine's Day shooting for which his world-famous sprinter brother is facing a murder charge.

The charge was not widely known of until local television e-News Channel Africa reported it on Sunday (local time).

A family statement said Carl appeared before a judge on Thursday and would be in court again in late March. His younger brother was freed on bail on Friday after a week of hearings watched by the world's media.

The family statement quoted lawyer Kenny Oldwage as saying: "There is no doubt that Carl is innocent and the charge will be challenged in court. Carl deeply regrets the accident.

"Blood tests conducted by the police at the time proved that he had not been under the influence of alcohol, confirming that it was a tragic road accident after the deceased collided with Carl's car."

Contacted by Reuters, Oldwage declined further comment. The family statement said charges had at one stage been withdrawn but then reinstated.

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ATHLETE'S TRIAL

Carl Pistorius attracted little publicity until the arrest of his younger brother propelled the family into the glare of a global media spotlight. He and their younger sister Aimee and father Henke, appeared in court to support Oscar, who denies the charge, saying he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

The younger Pistorius brother was born lacking bones in his lower legs, leading to amputation and carbon fibre blades. As the Paralympian "Blade Runner", who competed with able-bodied athletes at last year's London Olympics, reaching the semifinal of the 400 metres, he became a symbol of triumph over adversity.

In his native South Africa, he has also been seen as a rare hero for both blacks and whites, transcending racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.

The trial has drawn attention to South Africa's judicial system. Defence counsel criticised police witnesses during the bail hearings and, in a development that prompted further headlines, the lead detective was replaced after it emerged he himself was facing attempted murder charges.

On Saturday, Steenkamp's father said that if Oscar Pistorius was telling the truth about mistakenly opening fire then "maybe I can forgive him one day". But he added that if the track star were lying "he will have to live with his conscience".

- Reuters

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