Oscar Pistorius bail hearing - day 3

2013-02-21 14:30
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Pistorius bail hearing - day 3

See all the latest pictures from the third day of Oscar Pistorius's bid to secure bail at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

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Follow updates on the fourth day of Oscar Pistorius's bid to secure bail at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

17:07 - Phiyega: We do not lynch people... Botha is still a member of SAPS, he is still working. He is not suspended.

17:05 - Phiyega: Investigation to be under leadership and stewardship of divisional commander of detective services Lieutenant General V Moonoo.

17:00 - Aislinn Laing tweets: South African police say a new detective will be assigned to investigating the Pistorius case, Warrant Officer Hilton Botha is out.

16:51 - Botha removed from Pistorius case.

16:38 - Phillip de Wet tweets: We don't know whether there will be a bail ruling tomorrow. Little argument left, but Nair could, theoretically, take weekend to consider.

16:10 - Prosecutor Nel tells BBC’s Andrew Harding "not more than an hour" left for his argument on Friday.

16:01 - Court adjourned until 10:00 on Friday.

16:01 - Nel: Roux says why would an international athlete flee - I ask why would an international athlete handle a firearm in public.

16:00 - Nel: Pistorius elected to give his version via affidavit rather than be questioned in court.

15:59 Nel: He is prone to violence. What else are threats and murder?

15:58 - Nel: Roux argued its young-people speak [breaking legs], but here we have threats and a dead woman.

15:58 - Nel: the threats to Mark Batchelor and at Kyalami went unchallenged - because it's true.

15:57 - Nel: There's one person who knows every detail of what happened that night - he has the onus.

15:56 - Nel: It's not disputed that Pistorius let off gun in public place...and got someone else to take the blame. That's the real person.

15:55 - Nel: The witness statements we have are taken under oath.

15:53 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius will at least face culpable homicide. But the State says it is planned murder; he should have foreseen consequences.

15:52 - Nel: his version can only be that he wanted to kill the person in the cubicle, that's why he fired.

15:52 - Nel: I struggle to see if it's not murder, pre-planned… ‘I fired.. there was a risk… but I took the risk’.

15:51 - Nel: If I fire through a door, 1.4 x 1.4 [metres], did he do it to hurt? He must, he must, have fired to kill.

15:50 - Nel: Why did he shoot? Did he want to kill the intruder, not Reeva? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

15:50 - Nel: Botha said nothing inconsistent with State's case, as well as the defence's. And burden of proof is on Pistorius.

15:49 - Nel cites precedent that the accused "must prove on the balance of probability that he will be acquitted".

15:47 - Nel: This man created his feeling of vulnerability but stormed the [toilet] door - on his own version.

15:45 - Nel on Oscar Pistorius version: Actions indicative of a man willing and ready to fire, to kill… He stormed the danger.

15:45 - Nel: Pistorius never woke Reeva up and asked her if she had heard an intruder.

15:44 - Nel: his version is so improbable that it can never be a reasonable possibility.

Nel: You want to protect her but don't look at her

15:43 - Shows how Pistorius walked past Steenkamp three times but didn't look if she was in bed.

15:43 - Nel gets animated: "Reeva, Reeva, have you heard something? Did you hear a noise?"

15:43 - Nel: The issue with affidavits is it's untested. We argue the love being described by the witnesses wasn't from the night of the incident.

15:40 - Nel moves onto process and the issue that defence only gave a statement and did not take the stand himself.

15:39 - Nel: for dramatic effect, Oscar Pistorius says: "I've been the victim of death threats, violence and burglaries" but he never laid charges.

15:38 - Nair: Are you aware of murder cases that have been downgraded from premeditated murder? Nel: Yes, did one before you.

15:38 - Nel: The president in his state of the nation spoke against violence against women and children.

15:36 - Nel: Total lack of insight and willingness to take responsibility for his deeds increases OscarPistorius flight risk.

15:35 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius says 'I have money, I will give you bail. I will give you my passport if you want it, otherwise I'll go on with my life.

Nel: He wants to continue with his life as if this incident never happened. A total lack of insight into the seriousness of what he's done.

Nel on Pistorius statement: "Astounded by the total lack of insight into the seriousness."

15:34 - Nel: Says he needs his passport to compete internationally. Always leaves it open. He never said 'I'm not going anywhere'.

Nel: Pistorius shows a total lack of appreciation for what he's done.

15:33 - Nel: Pistorius seems to think that he won't be charged or go to jail for a long time.

15:31 - Nel making much of fact that Oscar Pistorius said he would stand his trial "should there be one.

15:31 - Nel: why didn't we get full details of Oscar Pistorius' offshore accounts? Why was family so frantic to get memory stick in safe?

15:30 - Nel: We argue that the court should be concerned about the memory stick. It relates to offshore accounts. Why so eager to get memory stick?

15:29 - Nel repeats there's nothing exceptional in this person’s application. He's a man of means.

15:29 - Nel: the dropping of the gun was an act after the firing of the shot.

15:28 - Nair: does state rule out Pistorius could have orchestrated the crime scene? Nel: Even planned murder could have immediate remorse.

15:28 - Nel: Even if you plan a murder... Mr Roux more experienced than I. Magistrate: In planning murders? Nel: No! Court erupts.

15:27 - Nair: You're working from point that no one else came onto the crime scene before police? The accused orchestrated the scene?

Oscar Pistorius starts to sob while Nel talks about Reeva's dead body. Brother Carl's hand on back.

15:26 - Nel keeps coming back to fact that Oscar Pistorius survived the night, thus his version is put to court.

15:26 - Nel: State's version is that there was an argument and Reeva locked herself in the toilet.

15:25 - Nel: Why would Reeva leave her phone outside toilet if she was going there to relieve herself?

15:24 - Nel: In front of the shower, next to the gun was two cellphones... why?

15:23 - Nel: The three cartridges found in the bathroom supports the State's case.

15:23 - Nel: How did Pistorius get those phones and gun onto that mat? Did he throw them? Objective facts support the State’s version.

15:21 - Nel: "The uncontradicted, unchallenged evidence of the position of his cellphone and gun are the coup de gras for his case." Kill his case.

15:20 - Nel says Oscar Pistorius may not have planned to show Reeva Steenkamp - but he planned to shoot somebody. Not in self-defence either.

Nel: "No court will ever accept that the applicant acted in self-defence."

15:19 - Nel: "I'm Oscar Pistorius, I'm a world-renowned athlete" is not showing special circumstances in terms of bail.

15:17 - Court resumes.

15:07 - Roux tells eNCA news that he "didn't think it proper" to question Botha about attempted murder charges against him."It's not relevant to us."

15:02 - Ten minute break, then prosecution will tell us why the State thinks Oscar Pistorius should be kept in jail for duration of trial.

15:02 - Defence lawyer Barry Roux standing with pleased smile on his face, arms crossed, waiting.

15:01 - Nair: will there be some level of shock if Oscar Pistorius is released? Roux: no there will be level of shock if he's NOT released.

15:00 - Nair questions Roux on whether releasing Pistorius on bail will evoke sense of outrage in the community. Roux: It depends.

14:59 - Phillip de Wet points out that the law deals with whether somebody out on bail is likely to intimidate witnesses or commit a crime.

14:58 - Pistorius looks incredibly tired. His eyes seem closed, says Alex Crawford.

14:58 - Nair questioning whether Roux adequately dealt with the allegation of threats of violence made by the accused.

14:57 - Nair: Pistorius had an assault charge laid against him previously. Roux: A false charge.

14:56 - Karyn Maughan says Oscar Pistorius gives a deep sigh as Nair questions his alleged history of threatening behaviour.

14:55 - Nair: There is evidence Pistorius threatened to break legs; discharged weapon; swore at someone: charge laid against [him] by his ex.

14:53 - Roux admits he didn't ask Pistorius about his alleged accidental discharge of gun in restaurant - and asking friend to take fall.

14:52 - Roux: It would be a "terrible injustice" to use vague, hearsay allegation about the restaurant incident against Pistorius.

14:51 - Nair: There is evidence in this bail application that Oscar Pistorius asked a friend to take the fall for accidental gunshot fired in restaurant.

14:51 - Nair: If established [that Oscar Pistorius would interfere with witnesses] should he be released on bail? Refers to Tasha’s [restaurant] incident.

14:49 - Magistrate says one of the grounds against bail is the possibility the accused could influence witnesses.

14:49 - Roux concludes. Nair has a few questions.

14:48 - Roux: he has given his full version, it makes sense, there is nothing to refute it - why should he still be jailed?

14:47 - Roux: Nothing qualifies this as a section 6 crime. Why should he be further incarcerated in the interest of justice?

14:47 - Court security tells @eNCAnews producer @kestapp that they "know nothing" of the threat. Magistrate acted on a warning from his bodyguard.

14:45 - And we are back...no word on what the "threat" was.

14:41 - Magistrate leaves very quickly. Says something going on outside.

14:39 - Adjourned suddenly due to a "threat of some kind" outside.


14:39 - Is there any reasonable, acceptable reason why he won't come to court to stand his trial, Roux asks. I don't believe it, he says.

14:38 - Roux on flight risk: "It borders as close as can be on impossible. That's why I was amazed by the evidence of the investigating officer."

Roux: We all know the applicant, we can see what's going on around us. He's a professional, he's an icon, he represents so many things.

14:37 - Roux: Father's ammunition in his house has nothing to do with Oscar Pistorius propensity for violence.

14:36 - Roux says when Oscar threatened to break soccer player's legs it was 'just an expression'.

14:36 - Mandy Wiener says: Oscar Pistorius seems to break down momentarily, his brother comforts him. Shoulders hunched, despite laughs in court at Roux comment.

14:35  - Roux: The firearm accidentally going off does not prove this is a person with a propensity to commit crime.

14:34 - Roux on Pistorius: "He has a clean track record." Don't think the pun was intended, says Phillip de Wet.

14:33 - Roux: This was a true and loving relationship with no motive to kill.

14:31 - Mandy Wiener says Roux is gesticulating all over the places, using hands to make his point for emphasis. Knocks glasses on podium.

14:31 - Defence trying to argue there was nothing to infer any motive, [they] had a loving relationship.

14:29 - Pistorius hunched over, body heaving, sobbing hard, according to reporters.

14:27 - Roux: We ask you [Nair] to reconsider your ruling... There exists no objective facts that show this should be treated as a schedule six offence [premeditated murder].

14:27 Roux: You cannot confuse any argument with a planned murder.

14:25 - Roux: There were no eyewitnesses. There will only be forensic evidence about events in the house.

14:25 - Oscar Pistorius crying for the first time today, leant forward, face red, veins in temple pulsing, says Aislinn Laing.

14:24 - Roux: Botha's evidence can be apty sumarised as extremely poor, resulted in the "monumental collapse of State's case".

14:24 - Karyn Maughan tweets that National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is expected to address media at the 16:00 press conference. A new lead investigator on the case is also expected to be announced.


14:23 - Roux: "very rare that a witness will lie about everything", after Nair asked why he believes Botha [about the] phone calls.

14:22 - Roux: Botha must have known what was on cellphone records and that it didn't help his case.

14:22 - Pistorius slumped forward in dock, overcome by emotion, David Smith tweets.

14:20 - Roux: Botha admitted that he knew of no phone call that could have formed part of a pre-planned offence.

14:20 - Roux: Botha conceded that the bat was not used to hit Reeva. He conceded that blood on the bat came from the scene.

14:19 - Roux moves on to the bloody bat. Says there is no possibility that the bat could have played any role other than that which Pistorius puts forward.

14:18 - Roux: Botha knew if he denied saying that bail for Oscar Pistorius wouldn't be a problem, there'd be big problems. We have witnesses.

14:18 - Nair: Would Botha have conceded mistakes if [he] wanted Oscar Pistorius behind bars at all cost? Roux: He had no choice.

14:17 - Roux: He is an internationally known athlete. Why would he flee?

14:17 - Roux argues that Botha tailored his evidence to incriminate Oscar Pistorius as much as possible, ignored mitigating evidence.

14:16 - Roux: [The] idea that Oscar Pistorius might skip bail "does not accord with common sense".

14:16 - Roux: Botha supported bail, now opposes it. What changed? We don't know.

14:15 - Roux: Botha was not a credible witness. We cannot say that he would tell the whole truth.

14:14 - Roux: [Botha] then introduces the evidence of the woman who heard screaming and the shots - a vague piece of evidence.

14:13 - Roux arguing possibility/probability. Could this or that have happened? Yes. But did it? Probably not.

14:12 - Karyn Maughan says SAPS will hold news conference at 16:00 to address the Botha debacle.


14:12 - Roux: the witness statement does not fit in with the applicant's version.

14:11 - Roux: If you tell me it's a neighbour, you can go there and take a little meter and measure it. State chose not to do that.

14:10 - Nair: What would you say to the possibility in the dead silence of the night, no music playing, 03:00, shots are fired. Clearly audible?

14:08 - Oscar Pistorius's head is now in his hands, looking down, hiding his face. He looks tired and numb, says Adriaan Basson.

14:08 - Roux: When you hear the details of that witness and how far away they were, you wonder why the police included it.

14:06 - Roux on witness who was 600m away: Why put something in a way that you create a wrong inference? [The] prosecution trying to mislead.

14:05 - Roux: When you read [the] witness statement of the woman who said she heard a row,there's an "irresistable inference" she could ID people [and] was nearby.

14:04 - Roux basically saying that there are all kinds of possibilities, but the court should look at probabilities, says Phillip de Wet.

14:03 - Roux: I received an email from a person telling me he knew who had broken into [Pistorius's] house.

14:02 - Roux: Lots of possibilities but can only deal with what's in front of court, there are many possibilities

14:02 - Roux: there was NO urine in her bladder. Nair: [Is it] possible that she urinated because of the trauma of the event?

14:01 - Nair: Who's to say she didn't empty her bladder an hour before incident?

14:01 - Roux: Probability is that Reeva would have attempted to safeguard her position in the toilet after hearing Oscar Pistorius warning.

14:00 - Roux: Common sense would be a woman in the bathroom staying quiet in the face of imminent danger.

13:59 - Nair questions why Reeva wouldn't have opened toilet door to "ask what's going". Roux: In the face of danger that doesn't make sense.

13:57 - State denies that Botha conceded that ballistic evidence supported Oscar Pistorius shooting claims.

13:57 - Roux: The objective facts show that at the time of her demise, there was no urine in Reeva's bladder - backing up Oscar.

13:56 - Roux: Even if Reeva was dressed, doesn't mean she didn’t go to the toilet.

13:55 - Roux: Pistorius could not have known the angle of the person behind the door.

13:54 - Roux on Botha: Don't come and tender positive evidence as a fact. Because it won't fly.

13:53 - Nair to Roux: Let's save time...you do appreciate that Botha isn't a ballistic expert. Roux: But he tendered evidence.

13:52 - Roux: Botha admitted he was simply wrong in asserting that shots were fired deliberately at the toilet.

13:52 - Roux: Botha conceded that the trajectory of the shots is consistent with Pistorius's version.

13:51 - Roux: Botha conceded that standing at entrance of the bathroom, angle of shots fired would be consistent with the applicant's version.

13:50 - Roux goes CSI like. Talking about trajectory and direction of travel of bullets, says Mandy Wiener.

13:49 - Roux: Botha had a statement from a person who was 600m away, then 300m away, "now I don't know how far". Witness didn't identify them.

13:49 - Mandy Wiener tweets: Roux pulls off his glasses, waving hands about, lambasting 'naked statements' saying 'desperate attempt by State'.

13:48: Argument between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp "speculative at best", Roux says.

13:47 - Roux: The evidence is not that the applicant knew the toilet was locked when he fired the shots. The door was only closed.

13:47 - Roux: [It] doesn't make any sense to say the burglar version is part of the pre-planning of the murder.

13:46 - Roux: Evidence shows the applicant was desperate to save Reeva's life rather than committing a planned murder.

13:44 - Roux: We say the carrying of Reeva downstairs is consistent with the applicant taking positive steps to save her life. [He] called Netcare.

13:34 - Roux: Botha in his evidence conceded that if Pistorius shouted about intruder, Steenkamp's response would be "frantic locking" of the door.

13:42 - Nair: Is this issue not rebuttal to claim that [an] intruder had easy access to Oscar Pistorius's house?

13:41 - Roux: A CEO was shot in a security complex in Waterval Estate, Pretoria. [The] fact that Pistorius lived in a security estate "doesn't tip the scale".

13:39 - Andrew Harding tweets: Roux tells me no question that this will go to trial. "Someone died... The law must take its course."

13:38 - Back in court for Roux's closing argument.

13:08 - Roux tells @BBCAndrewH he thinks decision on bail will only be made tomorrow [Friday]. ”We started too late”, says Roux.

13:01 - We're adjourning for a 30 minute lunch break. Oscar walks past, seems pretty calm again today. Tissues in hand unused, tweets Aislinn Laing.

12:58 - Court adjourns for half an hour.

12:57 - Roux: State chose to ignore Oscar's spontaneous disclosure [of burglar].

12:56 - Roux: Every allegation in preamble of charge sheet was disproved by State's own evidence.

12:56 - Roux: We have demonstrated that every allegation in [the] charge sheet doesn't support [the] State’s claim that this was [a] planned murder.

12:55 - Roux: Botha was extremely selective and seemed determined to bolster the State's case.

12:54 - Roux: Investigating officer couldn't deny that Reeva's bladder was empty at three o'clock in the morning. [This] suggests she went to [the] toilet.

12:54 - Roux: If Pistorius planned to kill Reeva, he could have done it in the bedroom.

12:53 - Roux: [The] fact that Oscar Pistorius and Reeva spent [the] night together is consistent with [a] loving relationship, inconsistent with murder.

12:53 - Mandy Wiener tweets: Just walked out the main doors here to file and there is a pack of cameras waiting for Botha to leave the building.

12:52 - Roux: The preamble to the charge sheet patently lacks substance in relation to a planned or premeditated murder.

12:52 - Roux: In the charge sheet it simply states murder, not premeditated murder.

12:51 - Roux moves to Oscar Pistorius charge sheet. Shot her 3 times through bathroom door. But State does not say he is guilty of planned murder.

12:50 - Andrew Harding tweets: Defence lawyer Roux - gentle delivery, like a family doctor, but with surgeon's instinct for the jugular.

12:48 - Roux citing case law where the requirement of exceptional circumstances was inappropriate.

12:46 - Pistorius has not looked up once during argument, says Mandy Wiener.

12:44 - Roux: The poor quality of the evidence presented by chief investigating officer Botha exposed disastrous shortcomings in the State's case.

12:43 - Roux: The State had access to the available evidence, they should have known it fell far short of showing premeditated murder.

12:42 - Roux says not only does the State have no evidence of premeditated murder, they have no evidence of murder- no intention to kill.

12:41 - Roux: We submit that the evidence shows that this was not premeditated, we request this not be schedule 6.

12:40 - Roux wants court to consider law that requires Oscar Pistorius to show 'exceptional circumstances'.

12:38 - Roux says the State is dependent on forensic evidence in the absence of eyewitnesses. [The] affidavit is consistent with Botha evidence.

12:38 - Roux: State cannot factually contradict Oscar Pistorius version of events - so he should get bail.

12:37 - Roux the investigating officer [Botha] says the contents of the supporting affidavits about the loving relationship are consistent...

12:36 - Roux: But this statement cannot be contested because the investigating officer's forensic evidence is consistent...

12:35 - Nair compliments defence advocate Barry Roux on his "performance" [on Wednesday].

12:34 - Roux starts with the value of an untested affidavit in a bail application - not same as weight of trial evidence.

12:24 - Andrew Harding: Defence lawyer Roux's chair falls over and catches me on the toe. He's just starting his argument with a joke about politicians.

12:33 - Barry Roux starts his argument...

12:32 - Roux to deliver closing arguments.

12:31 - Magistrate thanks Botha and tells him he can stand down.


12:30 - Pistorius also told Sarie he will never leave South Africa, he “likes pap and YFM”.
Sarie also quotes Oscar as saying he loves SA but enjoys Italian food!

12:30 - Nel reading: “The mayor of an Italian town built an athletics track and gym for him to train.”

12:28 - Nel reads the article - I [Oscar] spend four months of the year at a house in Italy.

12:26 - Nel: The article refers to Pistorius being given a house in Italy. Roux: "He does not own any property abroad, not in Italy, not elsewhere."

12:25 - Botha telling him article in Sarie mentions Oscar says he has a home in Italy.

12:24 - Nel pulls out a Sarie magazine. Says he was called by Botha last night to ask him whether he had read it or not.

12:23 Nair: Did the deceased receive phone calls or SMS messages between 2 and 3am? Botha: I don't know.

12:23 - Nair says Botha should have elevated request to superiors.

12:22 - Magistrate: Could your superiors have not put measures in place to get those in 48 hours? Botha: I don't have authority.

12:22 - Botha concedes 'it could have been done, it should have been done'.

Nair: Sounds to me like there was some lack of urgency in getting those records. Did you ask for the records?

12:21 - Botha: I asked person I know to be quickest for billing information, [I] don't know if they gave it to someone else.

12:20 - Botha: I did give it [phone record and billing] to a guy who I know does it quickly but he went to Cape Town or something. It is being handled.

12:20 - Nair: Did you not deem it necessary? Could you not have expedited it? Botha: I do want to see it.

12:19 - Nair: Did you obtain the detailed phone record and billing of deceased? Botha: I have asked for it but not seen it.

12:18 - Botha getting quizzed about the previous assault case against Pistorius which he dealt with that was withdrawn.

12:17 - Nair asking for more context on Samantha-party incident. Botha says Oscar Pistorius slammed door in her face. Piece of door fell on her.

12:17 - Nair asking Botha about incidents at Kyalami with Mark Bachelor and gun going off at Tasha's [restaurant].

12:15 - Magistrate asks why police investigator didn't give testimony in Afrikaans, his home language. Botha says he is fine with English.

Botha says he wants to continue in English. Nair revisiting his reasons for opposing bail: flight risk and violent behaviour.

12:13 - Magistrate in, court resumes.

12:12 - David Smith says: Detective Hilton Botha and Pistorius return to court amid a chorus of camera clicks. Family livid, tweets Aislinn Laing, saying magistrate is contravening his own order that they wait.

12:11 - Oscar is back too.

12:10 - Botha has arrived. He is sitting in the dock. We wait for Nair.

11:55 - Karyn Maughan: "When I met her, 'mental state' lady was wearing a magnificent black feather hat and carrying shopping bags. Today the bags were there, no hat."

11:54 - Karyn Maughan says: Recognised "mental state" applicant woman from a chance meeting in Parkhurst police station. She was there preparing appeal documents.

11:45 - David Smith says: Brother Carl Pistorius looking energised. Uncle Arnold Pistorius on mobile phone. Other family members huddled in discussion.

11:43 - Aislinn Laing tweets: Colleague of WO Botha tells me he was at police college with him and he's "a really good officer" they can't do without. Says charges trumped up.

11:36 - Alex Crawford tweets: "Motion by lawyer. She wants [Pistorius] examined for 60 days by psychiatrists to determine sanity at time of Reeva’s death."

11:33 - Gerrie Nel, true to form, cracks a dry joke, saying 'there goes my case', tweets Mandy Wiener.

11:30 - Nair calls Botha to appear before him. We adjourn for 15 minutes.

11:29 - Nair: Where is Botha now? Nel: He's in the court building, he asked not be here. Nair says he wants Botha to be called.

11:28 - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel: It became known to me and my team yesterday [Wednesday] that detective Hilton Botha faces seven charges of attempted murder... We didn't know when we called him.

11:27 - The mystery woman is told about procedure, collects her plastic bag and walks across the court to the exit. Nair frowns at it all.

11:27 - Magistrate basically tells her go away. She says she will file urgent application in high court. He says, with pleasure.

11:26 - Nair says there are rules and we won't be hearing any application from anyone other than the counsel involved.

11:25 - Nair - I've afforded you the opportunity to speak, even though I didn't invite you to.

11:25 - Magistrate says 'we are at an advanced stage. Not in interest of justice.'

11:24 - Both Nel and [Defence lawyer Barry] Roux protest. She says it is a constitutional application.

11:23 - The woman says she wants to bring an application that "addresses Pistorius's mental state". Magistrate, state, defence not happy, tweets Karyn Maughan.

11:23 - A woman wants to bring an application in court. Details not clear, says Barry Bateman.

11:22 - Nel wants to address three issues before we start.

11:21 - Magistrate Nair and Pistorius enter the court and hush descends.

11:19 - Oscar Pistorius's brother Carl walks in front of him, he follows and walks into the dock. It's a big day, says Karyn Maughan.

11:18 - Magistrate Desmond Nair enters courtroom.

11:17 - According to David Smith, Pistorius's father Henke is in his usual seat in the front row. Brother Carl looking quite relaxed and upbeat.

11:16 - Aislinn Laing says: Turns out it's the magistrate holding up proceedings. He wants Pistorius to come out first, lawyers saying given [number] of cameras waiting.

11:15 - Aislinn Laing says: Flurry of last minute legal visits to Pistorius... Custody officers and lawyers seem worried.

11:14 - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is seated and ready. We wait for Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair, tweets Barry Bateman.

11:13 - Oscar Pistorius's brother has arrived.

11:12 - Defence team has arrived - ready to argue why Pistorius should be released, says Barry Bateman.

11:11 - Everybody's in the building, and sounds like Pistorius’s hearing will resume any minute now. Usual chaos and confusion in court, according to Phillip de Wet.

11:10 - @barrybateman tweets: The media have been allowed to record proceedings. The radio hacks are trying to set up a system. Let's hope it works.

11:08 - Pistorius's father takes his seat next to his daughter. Click click click. Camera flashes go off. He stares ahead resolutely, tweets Robyn Curnow.

11:03 - David Smith tweets: More chaos in Pretoria as officials have no clue how to handle media interest. Had to sprint up four flights of stairs and scrape into court.

11:01 - Court official reminds media there is to be no LIVE streaming of arguments but we can record audio and run later.

11:00 - Everyone told to take seats.

Advocate Roux has just emerged from the court holding cell where he's been in last-minute consultation with his client.

10:57 – Alex Crawford: Can't see [Pistorius] for crowd of photographers around him. Big day for him.

10:55 – Alex Crawford tweets: Everyone waiting for court to start, expected in 15 minutes. Reporters still streaming in. [Pistorius] just [walked] in.

10:52 - Custody officer tells @Simmoa that Pistorius is crying softly as he waits in the holding cell to come into court.

10:51 - @RobynCurnowCNN tweets: Inside the courtroom. Oscar Pistorius’s father and brother not here yet. His sister is sitting in front row, wearing black again. All chatting.

10:38 - Karyn Maughan says the NPA's communication officer Bulelwa Makeke now said to be meeting with Oscar Pistorius prosecutions team over Botha. He is at court.

10:26 - @karynmaughan: Prosecution team say they have not been formally told that Botha has been dropped from case.

10:18 - Journalists elbowing [each other] to get into courthouse. Taking radio [reporters] in first. New system in place today, says Mandy Wiener.

10:12 - NPA says considering charges, Botha "cannot continue with this [Pistorius] case". (via@ewnreporter)

10:11 - NPA confirms charges against investigating officer Hilton Botha were re-instated on February 4. (via @alexeliseev)

10:10 - Pistorius’s family arriving in courtroom C now, according to Andrew Harding.

10:01 - Phillip de Wet says Oscar Pistorius's family has arrived, and [run] their first media gauntlet for the day. Can't help but feel some sympathy for them.

09:56 – Alex Crawford: So far [I’m] failing to get in. Court officials say I have been in since [the] beginning so... But other [company]'s have three [reporters] in[side].

09:53 - Sky News reporter Alex Crawford says: "Even more chaotic scenes outside court as far too many [journalists]. [Could] be a fist-fight."

09:49 - Sunday and Daily Telegraph reporter @Simmoa tweets: “So we're told that today, they're [court officials] giving priority to [people] who haven't been in to court yet, which means we may not get a slot.

09:42 - Phillip de Wet says: Media access to Oscar Pistorius courtroom has taken on the flavour of a reality TV show. It's a hot, and fiercely contested ticket.

09:34 - Oscar Pistorius has arrived at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

09:30 - Andrew Harding tweets: [I’m] back in courtroom C. Same seat. Less of a scramble this morning. Met #OscarPistorius uncle who is [very] pleased with [Wednesday]'s hearing.

08:30 - Journalists have erected several small tents and gazebos outside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in preparation for Pistorius’s bail hearing on Thursday.

Visit News24's Oscar Pistorius Special Report.

- News24

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius
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