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By NBF News
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The family of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with murder, has distanced itself from his father's comments that guns are needed because of high crime levels. Henke Pistorius told the UK's Telegraph newspaper that his son needed guns because of the government's failure to protect the white community. The governing African National Congress (ANC) said his comments were racist. Oscar Pistorius denies murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He says he mistook her for a burglar when he shot her dead on 14 February.

Ms Steenkamp died after he fired multiple shots into the toilet of his top floor apartment in a gated housing complex in Pretoria. Some of the guns are for hunting and some are for protection, the hand guns' Oscar Pistorius was released on bail on 22 February and is due to appear in court again in June.

He is charged with the premeditated murder of Ms Steenkamp. The Pistorius family owned 55 guns, the local Beeld newspaper 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,' The Telegraph 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.