The family of Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has distanced itself from his father’s comments that guns are needed because of high crime levels.
Henke Pistorius told the Daily Mirror newspaper that his son needed guns because of the government’s failure to protect white people.
Reeva Steenkamp died after he fired multiple shots into the toilet of his top floor apartment in a gated housing complex in Pretoria.
Records in South Africa showed the Pistorius family owned 56 guns, the Daily Mirror reports.
“Some of the guns are for hunting and some are for protection, the hand guns. It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels [sic], why protection is so poor in this country, it’s an aspect of our society,” it quotes Henke Pistorius as saying.
The family was “deeply concerned” about his comments, the family’s publicist said in a statement, AFP news agency reports.
Family spokesman Arnold Pistorius said “the Pistorius family own weapons purely for sport and hunting purposes”, it reports.
“The comments doesn’t [sic] represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family,” he is quoted as saying.
Critics say the government has not done enough to tackle a surge in violent crime since white minority rule ended in South Africa in 1994.
However, the South African government says crime levels have fallen in recent years.