Pistorius's bail hearing continues as sponsorships hang in the balance

Oscar Pistorius. (Reuters)

Oscar Pistorius. (Reuters)

Pistorius was arrested on Thursday morning after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home in Pretoria. He was charged with murder on Friday.

The state intends arguing that the murder was pre-meditated.

Pistorius was emotional during the first day of his bail hearing on Tuesday, when his affidavit on how he shot Steenkamp was read to the court but his brother Carl was there to support him.

In the 10-page affidavit read to the court by his advocate Barry Roux, Pistorius denied the murder allegation "in the strongest terms".

The court heard: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp."

His version of events was presented in application for bail on the same day that Steenkamp's memorial service was held in Port Elizabeth, more than 1 000km away.

Sponsors severed tied
Meanwhile Nike and Oakley, two American companies that were sponsors of Pistorius, cut ties with the sports star on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old double amputee known as "Blade Runner" became an inspiration to millions when he competed on carbon-fibre running blades against able-bodied athletes in the London Olympics last year.

Pistorius earned millions of dollars in endorsements but the shocking murder charge that stunned the world saw billboards featuring his image being taken down soon after the news broke, as sponsors backed away from him.

"Nike has no plans for Oscar Pistorius in upcoming campaigns," a spokesperson for the sporting goods and apparel manufacturer confirmed on Tuesday.

Sunglasses maker Oakley ended its contract with Pistorius as well.

"In light of the recent allegations, Oakley is suspending its contract with Oscar Pistorius, effective immediately," the company said in a statement.

"Our hearts are with the families during this difficult time and we will continue to follow the developments in this tragic case." – Sapa, AFP


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