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Pistorius 'intentionally shot and killed Steenkamp'

Niren Tolsi

A visibly shaken Oscar Pistorius has made his first appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court to face charges of murdering Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius hides his face from the media. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Pistorius was remanded in police custody until February 19, when his bail application will be heard.

The application for the postponement of the bail hearing was made by Pistorius's legal counsel, advocate Barry Roux, who said the defence required time to "investigate and research" the matter to allow the team to "put ourselves in a better position to argue the schedule of the offence".

The state's case is being led by high-profile prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, who has successfully prosecuted, among others, disgraced former South African police chief, Jackie Selebi. Nel told magistrate Desmond Nair, that they "will argue premeditated murder" in the Pistorius matter.

According to the prosecuting team's advocate Andrea Johnson, Pistorius had yet to be charged as he was not asked to plead at this appearance, but she told the Mail & Guardian that the charge sheet stated that he "unlawfully and intentionally shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp" and that he would face one count of murder.

Steenkamp (30) was reportedly shot four times: in the head, chest, hand and pelvis in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Early, unconfirmed, rumours had suggested that the 26-year-old Pistorius, a world-renowned Paralympian who had also competed against able-bodied athletes at last year's London Olympics, had mistaken the FHM model for an intruder.

SABC appearance
However, police had told the M&G that witnesses, including neighbours, had confirmed that they had heard loud voices and shouting on the night and that this was followed later that night by gun-shots.

Pistorius's lawyers had received permission for him to be held at Brooklyn Police Station, rather than the more cramped Pretoria Central Prison. His bail hearing is scheduled to last both Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The case has attracted the attention of the world's media with several British, European and American media houses in attendance. Steenkamp, a former FashionTV presenter, is set to appear from beyond the grave this weekend with the South African Broadcasting Corporation reportedly confirming that they will flight the Tropika Island of Treasure 5 in which she appears this weekend.  

Nair had earlier ruled that proceedings would not be filmed or photographed after Pistorius's counsel had argued that the application by various television news stations would prove a "serious impediment" to the athlete's case and that it had "probable prejudice … written all over it".


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