Media scramble at Pistorius case

2013-02-20 09:19

Pretoria - The media scrambled for a place at a packed Pretoria Magistrate's Court for the bail hearing of Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday morning, with a reporter fainting and an overflow room being set up.

A crowd of over 100 journalists, many flown in from around the world to cover the Olympic athlete's murder case, pushed to get through the security check.

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day.

He has not pleaded but in an affidavit he denied he murdered her, saying that when he shot her dead in a bathroom he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

Seven outside broadcast vans were parked on Bosman street, next to the court. Several video cameras on tripods were placed near the entrance.

Pistorius was brought to court at 06:45 by two police cars. He was sitting in the back seat of a police sedan. Photographers were already in place to capture images of his head covered with a blue towel.

Limited space

An advisory issued by the court on Monday said that due to limited space inside the court, only 26 media workers would be accommodated.

Ten reporters, two sketch artists, eight photographers, three television cameramen and three radio journalists would be allowed in.

The media was advised to be present for accreditation at 08:00.

Previous arrangements had been made to share material, and this agreement needed to be honoured, the advisory said.

However, by Tuesday morning, ahead of Pistorius's appearance, the accredited media list appeared to have been abandoned and journalists were left pleading at the court room entrance with officials to be allowed the seat they had already secured.

On Wednesday, reporters on the scene said: "It's really chaotic. The queue has failed."

A reporter collapsed in the heat as bodies were pressed together trying to pass through the check point.

On Tuesday security officials shouted at the crowd to bring order and tried to separate men and women into separate lines for the security checks.

However, when they opened, the queue disintegrated and once through the scanners people sprinted to the court.


On Wednesday, another room was being set up to accommodate the overflow of reporters for a live stream.

The shooting last Thursday of model and law graduate Steenkamp has featured prominently in local and international traditional and new media.

Magistrate Desmond Nair has repeatedly warned media to abide by his order that there will be no live recording of the proceedings and that photographs and recording are only permitted when the court is not in session.

He has repeated this during moments when Pistorius has been particularly emotional.

- See News24's Pistorius Special Report.

  • darren.raath.5 - 2013-02-20 09:24

    shooting into a closed door,not knowing for sure where your partner is. oscar you are a complete tosser.

      Kalibanache - 2013-02-20 09:27

      Murder? What murder your honour ????? lol

      jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:28

      Yeah really. He said they are madly in love. Me and my girlfriend have been together now for 7 years and no matter what I always know where she is in the house or at least if she is not in bed with me. Oscar said he called out to her. Why wouldn't she answer? Seriously.

      blignault.michaele - 2013-02-20 09:39

      @ darren My sentiments exactly! And where does an intruder break into the second floor then lock the door!! I have had a partner in my bed for over 30 years and I tell you, if I get up during the night I certainly know where she is. The loving innocent man, in his own word I may add, takes time to put on his "legs" and carry her downstairs in "my arms". Would you not have called for medical assistance first. People are blinded by his popularity on the athlectics field and do not consider the facts unemotionally. And yes these are the facts as they are out of the mouth of the accused. I hope that jsutice prvails in this so unjust land of ours.

      fanie.viljoen.73 - 2013-02-20 09:42

      Still feels unreal, what a mess!!!!! poor families.

      xoli.xuma - 2013-02-20 09:44

      Oscar stop lying, but the truth always find its way out, by that time your defence lawyers would have drained your bank account dry.

      jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:47

      Couldn't have said it better myself. From a burglar point of view this makes no sense at all. You break in, and immediately go to the bathroom? Wow I guess the iPad they found in the room and the cellphones and such were not as valuable as anything you can find in the toilet. What was the toilet paper made of?

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2013-02-20 09:58

      if only the brutal farm murders got this much attention

      tsepo.okeke - 2013-02-20 10:06

      Can someone just tell me why here skull was crushed?

  • hayley.fredericks.9 - 2013-02-20 09:25

    Picture 1 of 8 is, in my opinion, just disgusting. That poor family hiding their faces from the media frenzy just makes me sad. What have THEY done?

      Kalibanache - 2013-02-20 09:28

      I cant speak for everybody but my family would turn their back on me if things got this bad... Bless them !!

      zevile.mncwango - 2013-02-20 09:37

      i agree hayley! it really is digusting. They shouldnt be taking such pictures of his family. They dont deserve such treatment. Oscar is the one the media should focus on

  • jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:26

    Would it be wrong if the judge denies bail saying that Oscar is a 'runner'?

  • clint.skinner - 2013-02-20 09:27

    VULTURES are the media but they get the story don't they...

  • jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:30

    Also if the media report is correct he contradicted himself. First he says 'I am very mobile on my stumps' then he said 'I was afraid because I'm not very mobile on my stumps'.

  • Eterni80 - 2013-02-20 09:32

    I've seen sharks in a feeding frenzy with more class than these reporter scum.

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-20 10:11

      Perhaps those "scum" also have families to feed? Boss says go out and get the story and they have to do it to earn their salaries.

  • FUZZY - 2013-02-20 09:36

    What I don't understand is why did Oscar not call out to Reeva,if he wasn't sure who was in the bathroom.I think the affidavit was set up by his lawyer and family,because I don't think he knew what to say.

      Kalibanache - 2013-02-20 09:40

      When u hire best defense in the land and Thats the best u can come up, you know you are finished....

      jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:44

      O yes. You can just hear from the wording that this affidavit was written by a person with a legal back ground.

      gonda.lyons - 2013-02-20 09:47

      Obviously his lawyers set up this story. He will have to stick to it and so the cat and mouse games begin.

      Crystal Petersen - 2013-02-20 09:57

      I agree with you on that.. You don't just go around shooting. If as he knew she is or was there per se, then call out her name? If you do not get an answer or you hear more funny noises then shoot in the air as a warning shot maybe?? You don't just go for the kill.. That's just my opinion..

      Sue Oluhle - 2013-02-20 10:29

      Fuzzy u right, something doesn't add up, how does one wake up n go all the way to the balcony without noticing that the partner is not in bed with him n only realize after?. Did Reeva respond when he called out to her?. Why would Reeva lock herself in the bathroom when it was only 2 of them in the house? Didn't she try n scream/shout 4help when she heard the first shot? Truth will out Pistorius.

  • Greypatriot - 2013-02-20 09:38

    The media frenzy is disgusting. No matter whether it was murder or not. Whether they were in love or not, or famous or not. The possibilities for public delusion are endless. In Europe this would have been a crime of passion or a crime of fear. Choose anyone YOUR HONOR.

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-02-20 09:40

    She would probably be alive today if he didn't own a gun.

      Lynn Adams - 2013-02-20 10:18

      The fact of the matter is we live in africa. We have to protect ourselves

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-20 10:32

      Or a cricket bat.

  • jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:42

    I know a lot of people are against the jokes that surfaced since the story came to light, but I am of the opinion that comedy is a coping mechanism at least and even though I feel bad for the family and all, I still enjoy a good joke every now and again. So lighten up and if you are not the type who enjoy this kind of humor rather don't say anything.

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-20 10:35

      You've earned a Bell's from me.

  • Refiloe Thelma Shikwambana - 2013-02-20 09:46

    They nd a stadium for ths case and 4 me its startng to get boring.whatever happend he will never be the same.

  • caddie.hart.5 - 2013-02-20 09:47

    I see burglars are getting cheeky nowadays - locking a bathroom door to first take a dump before taking your goods.

      Mandy Jojwana - 2013-02-20 10:18


  • john.west.9212 - 2013-02-20 09:48

    “When a dog bites a man that is not news. But if a man bites a dog, this is news”.John Bogart. Many other people from other countries of different continents come to South Africa and, while they were here and faced economic crisis, turned to murdering us, raping us, robbing us, kidnapping our children, selling drugs to our children, abused women, being cruel to our animals and poaching Rhinos; all in process of damaging our beautiful country. Where were you, South African people, you who said and did nothing about these much worse crimes, even worse than Oscar? And yet, these foreigners as much as our local people still kill far too many people, far more than Oscar, who had murdered Reeva. Rather leave him to the judge and also it is up to Reeva’s family what they will do to Oscar….against him or forgive him! We don’t need to be involved in Oscar’s situation and we don’t need to judge too fast! Wait till the truth is discovered! One day…you may kill someone, who knows! …. It would not matter if it was just an accident "you will be judged"! South Africa is a really sick country! Ban the "bullet" in South Africa! They kill us and that is not news, But Oscar may have murdered Reeva, that is big news? Why?

      jake.muso.9 - 2013-02-20 09:52

      You can't ban guns here. That's the only way we can defend ourselves from those who get guns illegally

  • John - 2013-02-20 10:06

    Are we all crucifying Oscar for our own daily murderous thoughts?

      linda.horsfield.77 - 2013-02-20 10:25

      Speak for yourself! I dont have any daily murderous thoughts - except when it comes to people who think they are above the law and lie through their teeth to avoid taking responsibility for their actions - and lying theiving cheating corrupt politicians! Also, taxi drivers, car guards, municipalities that take more and more money and provide fewer and fewer services (if any at all) ... You are right! I'm crucifying Oscar for my own daily murderous thoughts - and the fact that he shot and killed his girlfriend has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! Moron!

  • Terry Thrillz Muyambo - 2013-02-20 10:11

    If you are blasting the media then you are a retard. You do understand, the media is the reason you even know about this story. If you stand for respecting people's privacy and all that nonsense, why are you even following the story (through the same media you hate so much) anyway?

      Maluxion Nketle - 2013-02-20 11:52

      Exactly my point,these hypocrites never cease to amaze

  • mariejose.mckeown - 2013-02-20 10:21

    My dad who was a policeman many years ago in Morocco slept with his pistol beside him at all times , he used to tell the story that once he nearly shot my mother dead as she was coming back in the bedroom during the night not having known that she had left the bed . I do believe he could be telling the truth even if incredible .

  • flynn.govender - 2013-02-20 10:32

    If the judge say that everyone is treated equally, if a person in the street did exactly the same crime, he/she will be put in jail without bail. Why is this case so different?

  • nathan.miller.94801116 - 2013-02-20 10:56

    In my opinion, Mr Pretorius is going to face jail time. You cannot just open fire on a suspected burglar who is invading your property. By law a person may only defend themselves once a direct danger has been established, and furthermore kill someone if your mortality is at stake. ie: you cannot shoot at someone unless fired upon. unfortunately this is constitutional law as well as the rules of engagement in military law. Objectively, Oscar Pretorius should be charged with non-Constructive manslaughter, if he has a good legal team, attempt to charge the victim of constructive manslaughter as grounds to his actions. If the case goes south for him, he will face a charge of constructive manslaughter and will receive a sentence. If the case goes really south for him, in the case he lied and his story does not hold up, or his negligence for apparently just opening fire is superseeded, he may be charged with murder. Subjectively, Oscar Pretorius has achieved great feats and should not be stripped of his Paraolympic and Olympic titles. I do believe this was an accident and lack of judgement but that does not omit Mr Pretorius of his actions of taking a human life. He is not above the law. I wish goodluck to him and his family as well as my condolences for the victims family and friends.

      Garth Bergstedt - 2013-02-20 12:30

      most agreed upon as to what you saying but as far as you think his innocent that i dont agree with. And alot of his story is made up and well oe not well thought of. What happen to shooting 2 warning shots as 3 of the 4 shots hit Reeva. And i may be wrong but cant you defend yourself only with the equavilence of what you attacked with? Hey i dont write the law, im just saying

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