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Oscar Pistorius in nightclub row

South African athlete and murder accused Oscar Pistorius was involved in an argument at a nightclub at the weekend, his spokesperson has said.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Mr Pistorius had an altercation with businessman Jared Mortimer who said he was drunk, The Star newspaper says.

Mr Pistorius’ spokesperson said the argument took place after Mr Mortimer started to “aggressively interrogate” him about his murder trial.

Mr Pistorius denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

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He says he mistook her for an intruder, but the prosecution says he deliberately shot her dead after an argument.

Ms Steenkamp was killed at Mr Pistorius’ home in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, on 14 February 2013.

‘Bouncers intervene’

Mr Mortimer said he got involved in a row with Mr Pistorius at the nightclub in Johannesburg’s upmarket suburb of Sandton, after the athlete insulted his friends and South African President Jacob Zuma’s family, The Star reports.

“I took that personally because I am very good friends with a member of the Zuma family,” Mr Mortimer is quoted as saying.

Mr Mortimer said the Olympic sprinter was intoxicated and started to poke him in the chest while they were talking.

The businessman said he then pushed Mr Pistorius away from him and the athlete fell over a chair.

The club’s bouncers helped Mr Pistorius up, but were asked to remove him after he “had a confrontation with another man”, Mr Mortimer is quoted as saying.

Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for Mr Pistorius’ family, disputed Mr Mortimer’s version of events.

Mr Pistorius was in the VIP section of the club when he was approached by a man who had since been identified as Mr Mortimer, she said.

“The individual, according to my client, started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial,” said Ms Burgess.

She added that Mr Pistorius “regrets the decision to go to a public space and thereby inviting unwelcome attention”.

On Sunday, hours after the incident, the Olympic sprinter tweeted for the first time since the death of Ms Steenkamp.

He tweeted a Bible verse, a collage of pictures of his humanitarian work, and an extract from Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning”.

The Olympic sprinter’s murder trial was adjourned last week for closing arguments on 7 August.

If found guilty of murder, the 27-year-old, who went on trial on 3 March, could face life imprisonment.

If he is acquitted of that charge, the court will consider an alternative charge of culpable homicide, for which he could – if convicted – receive about 15 years in prison. BBC