Parts of the murder trial of Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius may be televised, including opening and closing arguments, the high court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday. The athlete's testimony would be excluded from broadcasting.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that the court would allow audio and visual recording of Pistorius's trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.
The judge said that audio recordings would be allowed to broadcast the trial in full, while audio visual recordings would have restrictions. Remote controlled cameras are to be set up in the court.
Mlambo said: "It is … in the public interest that, within allowance limits, the goings on during the trial be covered … to ensure a greater number of people in the community who are unable to attend the proceedings are able to follow wherever they may be."
The high court on Tuesday made the ruling on the application by media houses.
The application to film the proceedings was brought by news channel eNCA, joined by media houses, MultiChoice and Eyewitness News.
Last week, Frank Snyckers SC, for MultiChoice and Eyewitness News, told the court that media would use technologically advanced equipment that was not obtrusive and was controlled remotely.
Snyckers said media houses secured the National Prosecuting Authority's support, but Pistorius's legal team opposed the application, arguing that broadcasting the events would lead to an unfair trial.
Barry Roux SC, for Pistorius, asked at the time why his client's trial was not being treated like any other trial.
Pistorius is accused of killing Steenkamp, his girlfriend, in February last year. His trial is to be heard in the high court in Pretoria from March 3 to March 20.
A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the trial will be launched on DSTV on March 2. – Sapa, additional reporting by Staff Reporter