Pistorius case to go on a break

By Drum Digital
16 April 2014

The murder trial of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius will break from Thursday until May 5.

The murder trial of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius will break from Thursday until May 5, Judge Thokozile Masipa told the High Court in Pretoria.

She said on Wednesday that the matter had initially been expected to run for three weeks but was now in its seventh week.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked for the postponement on Tuesday. He said, amongst other things, his colleague had another matter to attend to.

"There comes a time... and this is it, where the diary becomes clogged up," Nel said on Tuesday.

He indicated that with the long Easter weekend approaching, they had made personal arrangements which they would like to attend to.

Masipa urged counsel to continue working on their cases through the holiday.

"The record has almost 2000 pages," said Masipa, adding that most of it was technical evidence from expert witness.

She said she considered the possible prejudice Pistorius could face due to the postponement. She concluded that he suffered no prejudice as he was out on bail, and the adjournment would only be for seven working days.

Masipa added that she could not allow the May 7 elections to disrupt the trial.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He shot her dead through the locked toilet door of his home on Valentine's Day last year. He allegedly mistook her for an intruder.

The State, however, argued that Pistorius intentionally shot her following an argument.

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has denied guilt on all the charges.

Wednesday marked the 24th day of the trial.

Former police forensic analyst, Roger Dixon, was back on the stand. He started delivering his evidence-in-chief on Tuesday where he spoke about the abrasions on Steenkamp's body.

Pistorius said he broke down the meranti door using a cricket back after realising Steenkamp was behind it. - Sapa

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