Henke Pistorius gun comments blasted as 'racist' (VIDEOS)


The father of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, Henke (R) and his sister Aimee (C) attend an audience of Oscar Pistorius' bail hearing for premeditated murder of his girlfriend at the courthouse in Pretoria on Feb. 22, 2013.



The family of Oscar Pistorius is distancing itself from his father's claim that white South Africans need guns to protect themselves.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Henke Pistorius said his family can't rely on police and slammed the African National Congress over high crime rates.

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"It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country, it's an aspect of our society," he told the newspaper.

In a statement, the sprinter's family said it was "deeply concerned" by the comments.

Any weapons owned by the Pistorius family are "purely for sport and hunting purposes" and not for protection, according to the statement.

Henke Pistorius, Oscar's grandfather Hendrik and his uncles Arnold, Theo and Leo are said to own a combined total of 55 shotguns and handguns, according to the Beeld newspaper.

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ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu called Henke Pistorius' comments "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," he told The Sowetan newspaper.

Prosecutors have charged the Paralympic and Olympic athlete with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day.

Pistorius admits shooting Steenkamp repeatedly through a locked bathroom door, but says he mistook her for an intruder.