Oscar gets bail - recap of final day

2013-02-22 16:30
Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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19:30 - Alex Crawford tweets: Oscar Pistorius is with his family having a bath and full of remorse, says uncle, wants to speak to Steenkamps.

18:13 - Barry Bateman tweets: The convoy of cars he was being transported in back to the police station has now been diverted to a friend's home.

18:08 - Karyn Maughan says: Oscar Pistorius’s bail payment debacle has been resolved. He's on his way to a family member's house.

17:56 - Mandy Wiener reports: Oscar Pistorius drives out in a silver Land Rover, photographers on motorbikes, chase him down. He's sitting on the back seat, in middle.

17:54 - Karyn Maughan tweets: Oscar Pistorius’s lawyer Kenny Oldwage says that “we will sort this [bail situation] out”.

17:42 - NPA spokesperson says: Oscar Pistorius will spend another night behind bars - because his bail payment too late to be processed.

17:34 - Andrew Harding says: Strange, flat mood now. Such a build up. Such a sense of drama. Now realisation that it was just bail hearing and a long battle lies ahead.

17:31 - Phillip de Wet tweets: Oscar Pistorius is still in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court, sorting out the formalities. Will be a while, we reckon.

16:57 - Uncle: As a family we know Oscar's version of what happened that tragic night. We know that is the truth and will prevail. Yes we are relieved but we are also a family in mourning.

16:56 - Oscar Pistorius’s family giving a press conference.

16:50 - Court is adjourned.

16:50 - Oscar Pistorius walks out of court.

16:49 - Pistorius stares straight at Nair. Nair: Do you understand my order? Pistorius: Yes

16:47 - More bail conditions: Pistorius has to inform authorities if he leaves Pretoria.

He gets a probation officer, who will assess his emotional state and suggest, if needed, that he get counselling.

Banned from consuming alcohol or drugs. He orders random alcohol and drug tests.

16:46 - More bail conditions: Pistorius is not allowed near any airports. Surrenders all firearms. No communication with prosecution witnesses.

16:44 - Magistrate overrides State's request and orders Pistorius to pay R1m - he can be released after paying R100 000 instalment.

16:42 - Magistrate Nair now is granting an order.

16:41 - Case postponed till June 4.

16:40 - Nel: He will reside at an address which we will not disclose. He will not leave South Africa. He will hand over passports.

Nel: Pistorius must not return to scene of the shooting, he cannot talk to residents except Stander family and contractors.

Nel: He must report to Brooklyn police station every Monday and Friday.

16:40 - Nel request bail to be set at R250 000 with conditions.

16:35 - Cameras being kicked out of court. Nitty-gritty on bail coming up, says Phillip de Wet.

16:35 - Roux: we knew that he should get bail...but allowing him to tell the court his entire defence was massive risk.

16:32 - Barry Roux says he expects bail amount to be about R250 000, tweets Karyn Maughan.

16:28 - Karyn Maughan tweets:  Pistorius's family smile and cry in the glare of the television cameras. Relief all over their faces.

16:28 - Barry Roux is smiling, chatting to journalists. Gerrie Nel sits alone, impassive, says Phillip de Wet.

16:27 - Oscar's brother Carl prays for family who are holding onto each other. Tears flow freely.

16:25 - Oscar's sister Aimee bursts into tears as family prays in a circle about the bail ruling, says Adriaan Basson.

16:25 - Near pandemonium in the Pistorius court room. A week's worth of pent-up emotions just exploded, says Phillip de Wet.

16:23 - Phillip de Wet says: Pistorius bail conditions yet to be set. Will be discussed right now. Unclear what the bail amount is.

16:22 - Nair: I have come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.

16:21 - Nair: The accused is not a flight risk and does not show a propensity to violence.

16:19 - Nair: If public outrage was going to be used as grounds to oppose Pistorius bail, the State should have led evidence to prove it.

16:18 - Nair, after a pause, jumps straight into more case law.

16:17 - Nair cites case law where court shouldn't ignore the personal circumstances of a bail applicant.

16:16 - Defence looking unhappy says Alex Crawford.

16:15 - Nair takes a gulp of water. More dramatic effect, says Mandy Wiener.

16:15 - Nair: No grounds for denying bail on claims of violent past for Pistorius.

16:09 - Nair the accused has shown tendencies of aggression. Not in dispute he threatened to break someone's legs.

16:08 - Nair: I cannot find that it has been established that the accused is a flight risk.

16:06 - Pistorius is sobbing, clasping tissue and head in hands, says Alex Crawford.

16:03 - Yet, Nair says, the State can't show a watertight case either, enough to induce Pistorius to scamper.

16:02 - Nair: The defence has failed to show this court that there is a weakness in the State's case.

16:02 - Nair: I have a problem also with why the accused would venture further into danger... What if the intruder was waiting for him?

16:01 - Nair: I have difficulty in understanding why the accused did not check where girlfriend was or ask who was in the toilet.

15:59 - Nair: This court is placed with no option but to place weight on what is before me.

15:58 - Nair: I don't have all the pieces of puzzle in front of me. May emerge in trial.

15:57 - Nair: I cannot agree that Botha agreeing with the defence version means that the state's case is not strong.

15:56 - Nair: Of primary importance is that while there were concessions made by Botha, he is not the State's case.

15:55 - Nair: Warrant officer Botha is not the state's case. He was the first person on Pistorius crime scene.

15:53 - Nair: He conceded that Reeva would have locked herself in toilet if Pistorius shouted. But Nel's version equally possible.

15:53 - Nair: Botha admitted witnesses couldn't see where noises came from. His perception of distance (600 or 300m) was "astounding".

15:52 - Nair: He wants to oppose bail on the fact that there is a memory stick with details of offshore accounts.

15:51 - Nair: Botha didn’t check on Pistorius’s call to emergency services.

15:51 - Nair: Botha blundered on the exact nature of substance and needles found on scene.

15:50 - Nair: Botha may well have contaminated the crime scene by not wearing protective shoes.

15:48 - Nair: [Botha] didn't verify cellphone data of deceased, didn't follow up on phone records of accused.

15:48 - Nair now moves on to Botha's credibility.

15:46 - Nair: If defence is able to show the State has a weak case, that would be an exceptional circumstance.

15:45 - Pistorius will have to meet requirements of exceptional circumstance as magistrate treats charge as premeditate murder. A big knock, says Mandy Wiener.

15:44 - Nair says he must look at past violent behaviour by Pistorius.

15:43 - Nair going through the factors that contribute to granting bail. What requirements Pistorius would have to meet.

15:42 - Nair running through the potential grounds for denying bail.

15:42 - Pistorius walks back into dock. His face deeply flushed, holding a folded tissue.

15:41 - And we're back.

15:36 - Nair asks for a 5 minute break.

15:35 - Nair: I am not here at this point to find the accused guilty of premeditated murder. It will be for the trial judge.

15:34 - Nair:  I am not at this point as much seized with the issue of finding on premeditated murder.

15:33 - Father Henke who is sitting right behind Pistorius, is bent over his knees. He can’t bear to look up it seems, says Alex Crawford.

15:31 - Nair quoting: Bail reduces the number clogging our already overcrowded correctional system and does not deny breadwinners to families.

15:30 -  Nair: The accused is entitled to a reasonable opportunity to establish exceptional circumstances.

15:29 - Nair: Issue in bail application is not guilt but determining where interest of justice lies in bail.

15:27 - Pistorius composed, but still breathing quite deeply, shifting slightly, forehead crease still very prominent, jaw clenched.

15:24 - Nair mentions the concept of bail dating back to 7th century England.

15:23 - Nair turning to South African legal position on bail.

15:22 - Nair: defence said Oscar slept on the left side of the bed where he doesn't always sleep.

15:21 - Nair: defence insisted that Pistorius was vulnerable because he walked on his stumps.

15:21 - Nair recapping argument about Pistorius would 'charge' at burglar. Botha conceded no marks, signs of assault on [Steenkamp's] body.

15:19 - Nair: Botha conceded that he did not ask the accused relatives whether he had another phone.

15:18 - Nair: Botha conceded that shooting could fit in with Pistorius's version of events.

15:17 - Nair: Botha was extensively cross-examined on the issue of where the shots were fired from.

15:16 - Nair: Witness claimed she heard fighting, another heard gunshots and screaming.

15:15 - Nair also spoke about the Mark Bachelor incident and the one at Tasha's [restaurant].

15:15 - Nair: Botha said he found packets of testosterone and needles. He also interviewed witnesses.

15:13 - Nair: if one was on the balcony, you'd have to pass the bed to get to the bathroom.

15:13 - David Smith says: Henke Pistorius has hand to his mouth; Aimee has hand to chin; Carl suddenly seems tired; Arnold looks down with hand on head. All tense.

15:12 - Nair: The top half of the door was broken. A cricket bat was found and sent for testing.

15:11 - Nair: Botha found a 9mm pistol and two phones on the mat in front of the shower door. He found three casings in bathroom.

15:11 - Nair detailing the State's case. Firearms, cellphones, bullet holes, geography of bathroom, size of toilet, broken door.

15:10 - Nair is continuing his summary of Botha's testimony - describing the house, the entrance, room, etc.

15:09 - Pistorius’s uncle is rubbing his head, frowning so intensely that he looks as though he's in pain.

15:08 - Nair: recalling Botha's testimony about the autopsy - wounds to head, hip and elbow.

15:08 - Sister Aimee closes her eyes and appears to be praying, says Alex Crawford.

15:07 - Nair now dealing with Hilton Botha's evidence.

15:07 - Nair now going through the State's evidence.

15:05 - David Smith says: Pistorius's neck is quivering, his body shaking.

15:05 - Nair: friend - Reeva said she had a fantastic time with Oscar at the sports awards. "He treated her like gold."

15:03 - Oscar sobbing and shaking as the magistrate repeats his friends' words about the couple being deeply in love, says Alex Crawford.

15:00 - Nair: summarising the statements from Oscar's friends who described a loving relationship with Reeva.

15:00 - The siblings are obviously very close. Both brother Carl and sister Aimee look utterly bereft as their brother's pain, says Alex Crawford.

David Smith describes: Pistorius's brother Carl sitting on the edge of his seat, back ramrod straight. Sister Aimee also leaning forward with an expression of grief.

14:58 -  Nair: concludes the version of events. He deals now with the requirements for bail - wont flee, interfere, etc.

14:58 - Quick glance up by Pistorius on mention of his name. But otherwise every appearance of a man in private agony, tweets Phillip de Wet.

14:58 - Pistorius starts crying as Nair recounts his version of how "the deceased died in his arms".

14:56 - Nair: he realised it was Reeva in the toilet, he got the cricket bat and broke the door, tried to save her.

14:56 – Pistorius’s shoulders shaking now. Suppressing heavy sobs, tweets Andrew Harding.

14:55 - Nair: he says he felt trapped and endanger. At this stage he fired shots at the closed door.

14:55 - Pistorius crying as he hears his own (paraphrased) version being read out by magistrate.

14:54 - Nair: recaps Pistorius's version of events - that state doesn't have facts to disprove his version.

14:53 - Nair: the accused questions the allegation he committed murder, let alone premeditated murder.

Pistorius's shoulders are hunched, eyes down, not moving at all as he listens.

14:53 - Nair explains that Pistorius handed in an affidavit explaining he had no intention to kill his girlfriend.

14:52 - Nair: I am not creating any precedent in this regard with the detention. Each case dealt with on merit.

14:52 - Nair explains that he was convinced that Roux needed to consult with his client.

14:50 - Nair: there existed the possibility that if they didn't consult over the weekend the bail application could be delayed.

14:50 - Nair now addressing why he allowed Pistorius to be held in police holding cells - not in prison awaiting trial section.

14:49 - Nair moves on to the incarceration of Pistorius at the Brooklyn Police Station.

14:48 - Nair takes a drink from his water bottle. Dramatic effect. Pause.

14:48 - Pistorius with his head down, hands holding tissue and trembling, looking vulnerable, tweets David Smith.

14:47 - Nair: I ruled that the matter be heard as a Schedule Six offence.

14:46 - Nair wipes his nose several times as he starts explaining the schedule five vs schedule six argument, tweets Mandy Wiener.

14:45 - Nair: It raises the picture that the accused is some kind of species the world has never seen before.

14:45 - Nair: I have witnessed this happen. Accused comes into dock and large contingent of journalists flash at him.

14:44 - Nair: When I consider magnitude of matter, interest of matter, large contingent of media, consider right of the accused.

14:42 - Pistorius head is bowed. His sister Aimee behind looks tortured. Brother Carl, inscrutable, tweets Alex Crawford.

14:41 - Nair: Reading findings on impact electronic media can have on proceedings – it can be edited.

14:40 - Pistorius is staring at the floor. His family is watching Nair intently, tweets Barry Bateman.

14:38 - Nair explains his decision on the application for proceedings to be broadcast.

14:37 - Nair begins. Explains sequence - start with media, then go to decision to keep Pistorius in police cells. Then on to the application.

14:35 - He's here. Magistrate arrives. Court begins.

14:34 - Aislinn Laing tweets: Trainer Ampie Louw is fanning air through his shirt, woman beside him says she thinks she might cry. Carl and Aimee look tense to say the least.

14:31 - Cameras have been ordered out of court.

14:30 - Court official arrived, looks imminent. Officials busy fixing cables so it can be streamed live (audio).

14:29 - Phillip de Wet tweets: Forest of microphones on magistrate podium is still growing. Now they can finally broadcast, electronic media has pounced.

14:28 - Barry Roux looking remarkably relaxed. Microphones being fiddled with in front of Nair's seat, says Mandy Wiener.

14:23 - If Oscar Pistorius doesn't get bail - which is highly unlikely - his lawyers will bring urgent bail appeal in North Gauteng High Court, says Karyn Maughan.

14:19 - Aislinn Laing tweets: Excitement mounting here at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. One spring chicken journalist asks a colleague:"Do you remember the OJ Simpson verdict?"

14:18 - Barry Bateman tweets: Overheard in court, American journalist: "You thought Super Bowl seats were hard to find, try this courtroom..."

14:17 - Andrew Harding tweets: Magistrate's Oscar Pistorius ruling could take an hour to deliver. Am told he has a habit of quoting Shakespeare.

14:16 - Barry Bateman tweets: Overheard in court, a British journalist referring to Kenny Kunene: "Have we got a photo of Mr Sushi?"

14:14 - Friends of Reeva Steenkamp accompanied at court by a private investigator, according to Adriaan Basson.

14:13 - David Smith says: Fevered excitement and noise in court C as Pistorius family members and lawyers brace for a decision, watched by photographers and TV crews.

14:10 - Despite the ruling only being in half an hour, the courtroom is already full and defence is standing, ready to go, tweets Mandy Wiener.

14:09 - Reeva Steenkamp's friend Kim Myers and her mother Desi in court to hear ruling on Oscar Pistorius' bail application, says Adriaan Basson.

13:37 - Colleague in Oscar Pistorius court tells Andrew Harding that toxicology reports for South African court cases have a seven year backlog.

13:29 - Andrew Harding says he is yet to meet anyone who thinks Oscar Pistorius won't get bail. The prosecution is simply pushing the defence to reveal their case before the full trial.

13:27 - Phillip de Wet tweets: Police have blocked a lane to traffic in front of court. Just in case Pistorius gets bail. "Must be [a] fast" exit, they say.

11:55 - Nair thanks Nel and Roux for their summations. "I'm now in the unenviable position," of having to decide... at 14:30.

11:54 - Roux correcting himself: Oscar Pistorius prostheses don't require maintenance every month, but often.

11:53 - Nair: Wouldn't it have made sense to put in [his] affidavit his stumps need medical attention and it will be hard in a "duck and dive" situation?

11:51 - Roux: All the factors are present to show that he's not a flight risk.

11:50 - Roux on State's argument that Oscar Pistorius is flight risk: Every time he goes through airport security, it causes commotion.
Roux: It is impossible for Oscar Pistorius to disappear. His legs need constant maintenance and needs medical attention for his stomach.

11:49 - Karyn Maughan says Oscar Pistorius sighs deeply and breathes slowly. Clearly trying to control his emotions. He looks exhausted.

11:49 - Roux: I asked Botha three or four times if he has evidence contradicting Pistorius's version. He didn't. "It's a major concession."

11:48 - Roux: Nel's submission that Pistorius will be convicted of something is a far cry from schedule 6 murder.

11:46 - Roux: Not strange that gun and phones were found in bathroom; Pistorius would have put the gun in the bathroom when he looked for Reeva.

11:46 - Pistorius gulping hard, trying to control emotions, says David Smith.

11:45 - Roux: State version of events discounts Pistorius being frantic after realising he may have shot Steenkamp.

11:44 - Roux refers to two comments by Nel. "How must Reeva have felt when he was firing" and "we accept he was shooting a burglar".

11:43 - Nair quizzing Roux on whether Pistorius’s initial statement was spontaneous or not. Same track as the orchestrated-scene stuff with Nel, Phillip de Wet says.

11:42 - Mandy Wiener says: As magistrate talks, Roux readjusts his belt, leans forward on the podium and listens carefully.

11:40 - Roux referring to Nel: Sometimes it is very difficult to guard against what you really believe. It will come out.

11:40 - Roux: Oscar Pistorius had no intent to kill Reeva. Charge is not that he wanted to kill unknown burglar but that he wanted to kill her.

11:39 - Nair: What is Oscar Pistorius guilty of on the facts in his version? Roux: Culpable homicide.

11:38 - Nair has two bodyguards standing either side of him in court, says Alex Crawford.

David Smith tweets: Two members of Myers family including Steenkamp's 'Johannesburg mother' arrive in court. "We felt it was important Reeva is represented."

11:37 - Roux: Cannot convert this into a planned murder. If the court finds he acted as reasonable person, he will be acquitted.

Roux attacking Nel for 'transferring intent' - Oscar Pistorius shot at burglar behind toilet door, not Reeva.

11:36 - Roux debating Dolus Eventualis vs Dolus Directus. Basically, different forms of intent to kill.

11:35 - Roux: State says Oscar Pistorius fired shots, thus had intent, thus committed murder. But intent [to kill burglar] can't transfer to Reeva.

During the break the defence team told Andrew Harding they are frustrated by slow pace of bail hearing and worry ruling may be delayed till Monday.

11:34 - Advocate Barry Roux begins by saying the most crucial aspect of [his] reply will be that the state misinterprets assigning of intent.

11:24 - The new chief investigating officer made a brief appearance in court during the break to joy of camera crews, tweets Alex Crawford.

11:05 - Nel has concluded. Roux back up for Pistorius. 10 minute break first.

11:04 - Nel suggests Pistorius might consider changing his face to avoid being recognised. "It's a possibility."

11:03 - Nel citing Julian Assange case - "he is a well-known person, he is as well known as Mr Pistorius." He skipped bail...

11:02 - Nel: If somebody with a disability commits a crime we have to treat him differently? Courts cannot be seen to treat famous people differently.

11:01 - Nair: But ducking and diving every day, with those prosthetic legs? Nel: Yes.

Laughter from the gallery. Nel is annoyed.

11:00 - Nair: what kind of life would Pistorius lead if he flees? Given prostheses? Nel: A life of freedom. A life not in prison.

10:59 - Nel: if you're looking at life imprisonment as a possibility, it’s not easy to stay if you have means to leave.

10:59 - Nel: Pistorius gave a version that was "improbable". The State gave a version based on "objective facts".

10:58 - Nel: Who should tell the court what happened? The applicant, not the State. We say the court should refuse bail.

10:57 - Pistorius family looking very downcast, brother Carl slumped forward, sister Aimee frowning, uncle Arnold shaking head. In dock, Oscar is immobile, says Aislinn Lang.

10:57 - Nel: Defence chose not to call their own pathologist who attended post mortem.

10:56 - Nel: There is no evidence before court about [Reeva's] empty bladder. Botha said he couldn't confirm it.

10:55 - Andrew Harding tweets: Oscar Pistorius dabs his eyes with a tissue.

10:53 - Nel: One shot could have been fired from the passage. But not the other three - casings found in bathroom.

10:53 - Nel: We say detective Botha never conceded that Pistorius stood at the entrance to the bathroom when he fired the shots.

10:52 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius left [his] dying girlfriend upstairs, went down to unlock [the] main house door, then came back to carry her down. Why?

10:51 - Nel: We supposedly have this paranoid man who lived in fear of his life. But his balcony door, bathroom door and front door all open.

10:49 - Nel deals with the Sarie magazine - the access to the home in Italy. Nel: He can't prove he OWNS a house in Italy, but he has a home there.

10:49 - Nel: Important people are granted bail, stand trial, are convicted, serve terms. But lots have escaped justice too.

10:48 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius has the international status to be accommodated elsewhere.

10:47 - Nel: He might think he'll be acquitted. A lot of people think that.

10:47 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius must realise that a conviction is likely. He must realise that long-term imprisonment is almost guaranteed.

10:46 - Nel: Minister [of Women, Children and Disabled Persons Lulu] Xingwana was present in court, [which] shows how serious Government is about this case.

10:46 - Nel: Pistorius got a friend to take the blame because of media. "Always me. Protect me."

10:45 - Nel: If Mr Devaris was here I would have asked him, what do you know. There's just a statement.
Nel: Devaris sorted it out. Said let's not make it public as it will affect McLaren sponsorship.

10:44 - Pistorius's face crumples with emotion again, says David Smith.

Nel: This applicant has threatened people with violence. He got away with discharging of a firearm, threatened people.

10:43 - Nair's asking if there is outrage in society on Oscar Pistorius case. Nel: Court must know how many women and children killed.

Nel: The degree of violence present in this case is horrific. You're in a little cubicle, someone fires blindly. It must have been horrific.

10:42 - Nel: Even President Zuma said in his [state of the nation speech] that we really need to prioritise crimes against women. It's the duty of this court not to pay lip service but to take the matter very seriously.

10:41 - Nel deals with discredited witnesses who heard rows, shots: "You don't need to be an expert to be an eyewitness of where something was."

David Smith tweets: Tears threaten to break Pistorius's composure but he fights them back.

Nel: ...But you don't need to be an expert to be a witness to where things were found (refers to firearm and phones)

10:40 Nel: we say we have the evidence of the [investigating officer]. He described the scene for us. We concede he's not an expert...

10:39 - Nel: Gun holster also found on left hand side. No way to test this evidence, only Pistorius knows.

Nel stresses Pistorius walked past her side of the bed three times.

10:38 - Nel: He claims he had shoulder problems and slept on other side of bed. It will be very difficult for the State to test that.

10:37 - Nel: Reeva's overnight bag and slippers [were] on [the] left hand side of [the] bed, but Pistorius says she slept on [the] right hand side.

10:36 - Nel: The fact that we have one survivor of that tragic night is difficult for the State.

10:35 - Nel: On the available evidence Mr Pistorius was in illegal possession of ammunition, even if it was his father's.

Nel: Botha was asked 'why didn't you ask us (defence) for Pistorius's other phone'? I want to ask: Why didn't they offer us the phone?

Nel: [Botha] is criticised about what he didn't do. Perhaps one should look at what he did do.

Pistorius still sitting with his head bowed and eyes shut, hands clasped together, as if in a church, says David Smith.

10:34 - Nel: Why did Pistorius not call the security guard after the shooting? The guard called him.

10:32 Nel: It doesn't make sense to think "I just shot Reeva" after firing a gun and then not finding her.

10:31 - Nair: Have you shown that the second phone was deceased's? Nel: No we haven't but he hasn't denied it.

10:30 - Nel: I'm not saying that Pistorius didn't make calls after the shooting. We don't say that.

10:30 - Nel: In our version, Steenkamp locked herself in [the] toilet either to escape [an] argument or to escape [the] gun.

10:29 - Nel: I'm not saying the murder of Reeva Steenkamp was planned days in advance. It was planned that night.

10:28 - Nair: But if there was planning of the murder, would there not be a setting up of the scene to [make it] look like there was a burglar?

10:27 - Nel arguing that Oscar Pistorius planned his defence to murder - either before or after shooting.

10:26 - Nel: We say the burglar is an afterthought, not even an afterthought, but something he planned he would say.

10:24 - Nel: "Crying, remorse, that's expected. But people feel sorry for themselves. Say, at [at that] realisation [their] career is lost.

Pistorius' family shake heads as Nel says Oscar may have cried for himself because he knew his career was over, couldn't travel anymore, says Adriaan Basson.

10:23 - Nel: Pistorius defence wants to argue that it's mere coincidence that witnesses heard arguing, or they're lying. Why would they lie?

10:22 - Nel: He elected to make a statement, which allows me and the State to make these inferences.

10:21 - Nel: On Pistorius' version he and Reeva must have passed each other when he fetched the fan and she went to toilet. Just not true.

Pistorius who now fighting sobs behind me, says Andrew Harding.

10:20 - Phillip de Wet says Nel is layering improbability on improbability. Much like defence demolished Botha, he's trying to discredit Oscar Pistorius utterly.

10:19 - Nel: She [Reeva] didn't say anything, not a word. The only reasonable thing would be 'Oscar where are you, what's going on?'

10:19 - Nel: why would a person, at 3am, when hearing there's an intruder not scream out?

10:18 - Nel: To find his version probable, one must stretch.

10:17 - Nel: Even after detective's concessions, the position of the firearm, cartridges and cellphones remains.

10:17 - Nel: we say that the state has a strong case.

Nel: The same with remorse. Those are the pitfalls of an affidavit. The court should see him in the box.

10:16 - Nel: It's business as usual. ‘Give me bail, let me go out and carry on with my career’. It cannot be business as usual.

10:15 - Nel: I haven't heard, 'I admit I caused her death unlawfully.'... The way I read this is, 'I've done nothing wrong'. Increases flight risk.

10:14 - Nel: Oscar Pistorius doesn't appreciate seriousness of charges. Never says 'I killed her unlawfully'. I read it to say 'I did nothing wrong'.

10:14 - Nel is saying that the value of testifying holds far more value than a statement.

10:13 - No sign of new lead detective in the case, Lieutenant General Moonoo, yet in court, says Aislinn Laing.

10:12 - Nair: Is he not permitted to bring the application by affidavit? Nel: Nobody can force him to, he makes an election.

10:10 - Nel: If he really wanted to take the court into his confidence he would have testified. [He] would have said here I am.

10:10 - Nel begins with picking up on decision by defence to put forward an affidavit rather than let Oscar Pistorius take the stand.

10:09 - Nel indicates he will continue with his argument.

10:09 - @Simmoa: Asked whether they were hopeful this morning, uncle Arnold Pistorius replied: "Always, it's a trait of the Pistorius family."

10:08 – [Defence advocate] Barry Roux reaches out to Oscar Pistorius and grabs his hand. "You're going to be okay." Oscar: "Thank you, sir."

10:07 - Oscar Pistorius doesn't move at all as photographers are asked to leave. All in the public gallery stand behind him as Nair walks in.

10:06 - Here we go. Camera's click away as Pistorius walks in. He endures the barrage and keeps his head bowed.

10:03 - Oscar's dad Henke enters court. Sitting next to his other two children, Carl and Aimee.

10:00 - Oscar Pistorius arrives at court.

09:57 - Adriaan Basson thinks it will be at least a few months before the proper Oscar Pistorius trial starts, optimistically by the end of the year.

09:49 - Prosecution team arrives in court.

09:42 - David Smith tweets: Spoke to Pistorius's uncle Arnold on way into court. "I'm hopeful," he said about the bail decision, but added: "Maybe I should ask you?"

09:41 - Defence advocates Barry Roux and Kenny Oldwage arrive with their bags of files.

09:39 - Oscar Pistorius's uncle and sister arrive in court.

09:20 - Scrum of elbowing photographers pressing up against our seats, poised to take pictures of Pistorius if he arrives here before the magistrate, says Andrew Harding.

09:17 - Barry Bateman thinks Nair will probably deliver his ruling on Friday but he may reserve judgment and postpone to another day.

09:15 - Oscar Pistorius after Nel, we'll probably adjourn to allow Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair time to prepare his ruling, says Barry Bateman.

09:14 - A couple supporting Pistorius has turned up outside the court with a poster stating "Oscar we trust in you and your love for Reeva".

08:59 - Louw: We've cancelled the competitions, but we'll go back to his training plan. It will be good for him.

08:58 - Louw says he wishes he could reach out to Oscar to comfort him, but he'll do that later, tweets Barry Bateman.

08:55 - Oscar Pistorius's coach Louw says it's heartbreaking seeing the youngster he's trained for nine years in the dock, according to EWN's Barry Bateman.

08:51 - Andrew Harding quotes Pistorius’s coach as saying: We can start training on Monday. He's heartbroken... It will be [a very] good thing to... to get his mind cleared.

08:42 - Pistorius coach Ampie Louw says if he gets bail, Pistorius will start training again next week, says @AlexCrawfordSky.

08:36 - Andrew Harding says officials are negotiating possible live TV coverage of Pistorius's judgment.

08:28 - Pistorius Brother @CarlPistorius walks into court on Friday morning, tweets Mandy Wiener.

08:20 - A legal expert tells @eNCAnews that an accused in Pistorius's position would normally get bail of around R150 000.

08:09 - Badges not wristbands for journalists at the Oscar Pistorius trial today, tweets the BBC’s Andrew Harding.

07:20 - Already a crowd of journalists gathering outside the courthouse in anticipation of a possible bail decision [on Friday], tweets Mandy Wiener.

Visit News24's Oscar Pistorius Special Report.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius

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