Pistorius to face premeditated murder charges in March

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on August 19. (AFP)

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on August 19. (AFP)

The trial date for Paralympian and Olympian Oscar Pistorius was set on Monday morning at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

This was announced by Magistrate Desmond Nair, who said: "The matter that is before me today [Monday] is merely for the postponement to the high court. It is merely a short appearance."

Before the announcement of March 3 was made, Aimee Pistorius, the sister of the sprinter, broke down in tears at the court ahead of her brother's appearance.

She, Pistorius, and their brother Carl prayed as they held hands and bowed their heads in the court room.

Photographers jostled as they surged forward taking photographs.

Wearing a black suit and navy blue shirt, Pistorius turned his back as photographers attempted to take pictures of him.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead in his Pretoria home on February 14.

He claims he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door of his upscale home because he mistook her for an intruder.

The state is arguing that the murder was premeditated, a charge which carries a sentence of life imprisonment.

Amputee
Pistorius, who was born without calf bones and had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, runs on fibre-glass prosthetic legs.

He catapulted to fame at last year's London Olympics as the first double-amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported estate agents do not want to market Pistorius's luxury house in Silver Woods in Pretoria.

Alberto Ochetta of Casa Nostra Properties was quoted saying: "I wouldn't want to market that house. It just has bad karma attached to it now and it will be an incredibly difficult sell."

The newspaper reported the house was due to be listed with Engel & Volkers Silverlakes for R6-million. – AFP, Sapa, Reuters

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