Oscar trial broadcast 'will tame media'

2014-02-19 13:11
Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Interruptions during Oscar Pistorius's murder trial will be eliminated if media are permitted to record proceedings, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Frank Snyckers SC, for MultiChoice and Eyewitness News, submitted that the court should make provisions to cater for the media in the Pistorius case as it had garnered "unprecedented interest".

"What we are proposing here would tame the circus. [If broadcast permission is granted], it won't be necessary for everyone wanting a piece of the action to be in court," he said.

Snyckers said interest in the case was not only limited to the media but extended to women's rights groups and government departments representing women's rights.

MultiChoice and EWN are proposing to use unmanned, remote-controlled high-definition cameras that would provide feed to all broadcasters.

Snyckers said the media houses would use technologically advanced equipment controlled remotely to avoid an obtrusive presence during the trial.

He said the media houses had secured the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) support, and that the world's eyes would be on the criminal justice system, as they have been.

"Principles of open justice and the right to freedom of expression are part of the right to a fair trial," he said.

"In fact, the trial judge can be given the means to deactivate the recording."

Pistorius's legal team

Snyckers said granting permission to broadcast would ensure that all South Africans had access to the trial.

Pistorius is accused of killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February last year. His trial is expected to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria from March 3 to 20.

Snyckers told the court that if granted permission to film the proceedings, MultiChoice would broadcast the full trial unedited. He said, however, "unconsenting witnesses" would not be filmed.

"What we are offering here is the truth and nothing but the truth," he said.

The application to film the proceedings was brought by news channel eNCA.

It was joined in the application by MultiChoice and EWN. A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming trial would be launched on DSTV on 2 March, a day before the former star athlete goes on trial.

The NPA on Tuesday said it would not oppose the application. However, NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said it did have a number of conditions. He would not say at the time what these were.

Pistorius's legal team is expected to oppose the media's application.

Read more on:    ewn  |  multichoice  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  media  |  pistorius trial

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.