Oscar Pistorius: The story so far

2013-08-16 14:48
Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius is set to appear in court on Monday, 19 August for a hearing on his trial date. Reports state that the trial will start in either February or March 2014.
The athlete hit the headlines early on Valentine’s Day this year when he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury Pretoria house.
       Oscar Pistorius (File, AP)

He claims to have mistaken Steenkamp, who he started dating a few months before, for a burglar.
But neighbours claimed to have heard shouts coming from the paralympian’s home in the hours before Steenkamp's death.

 Oscar Pistorius outside a Pretoria police station
  Pistorius at a Pretoria police station (AFP)                        Reeva Steenkamp (AP>

A few days later, during Pistorius’s dramatic bail hearing, the National Prosecuting Authority revealed that it was charging Pistorius with pre-meditated murder.

Pistorius’s family showed up daily for the bail hearing to support him but women’s activists were also present in court.

                    Members of the Pistorius family. (File, Sapa)
                          Pistorius's brother, Carl, and his father. (Sapa)

Fans of the athlete - the self-titled Pistorians - also showed their support, mainly through Twitter.

At the hearing, it was revealed that the lead detective on the case, Hilton Botha, was himself facing attempted murder charges. He was later taken off the case.

                   Hilton Botha (File, Sapa)
                             Hilton Botha (Sapa)

When a letter by Pistorius detailing his version of the tragic events was read in court, proceedings had to be stopped for a while when the athlete broke down.

Magistrate Desmond Nair explained: "My compassion as a human being does not allow me to just sit here."

Meanwhile, as the celebrity paralympian sat in the Pretoria court, Reeva Steenkamp’s loved ones gathered in her home town of Port Elizabeth for a funeral for the young model.

Her uncle, Mike Steenkamp, said: "We had planned a family get-together for December, but that didn't happen. Now we're together but there's only one thing missing." Then he broke down in tears before the cameras.

                Reeva Steenkamp funeral
                          The media outside Reeva Steenkamp's funeral. (Sapa)
On 22 February he was granted R1m bail with some restrictions. Two days later, on 24 February, a still image from CCtv footage emerged showing a smiling Steenkamp arriving at Pistorius’s home just hours before he killed her.

               Pistorius in court (AFP)

In late February, it was also revealed that Oscar’s brother, Carl Pistorius, was facing culpable homicide charges over a 2010 collision involving a biker. In May, Carl was acquitted of all charges.

                 Carl Pistorius (Sapa)

On 28 March, some of the paralympian's bail conditions were relaxed. He was allowed to drink alcohol, travel outside of the country for athletic competitions and no longer need to be regularly supervised by a probation official.

By April, Pistorius was seen training at the University of Pretoria.

Then in May, Pistorius was back in the headlines when pictures were published showing the bloody bathroom where Steenkamp was shot.


Sky News broadcast the images showing the toilet that Steenkamp was apparently sitting on when Pistorius shot her, and the trail of blood from when he carried her downstairs to the front entrance of the house.

Hilton Botha said the pictures could play into the hands of the defence and could see Pistorius walk free.

By June, Steenkamp’s parents had also spoken out in a documentary for the UK’s Channel 5 titled Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter?

It was also reported that police were still trying to unlock Pistorius’s iPhone because it was believed to contain vital evidence - more than five months after Steenkamp’s death. Pistorius claimed that he forgot the pin code prompting investigators to turn to Apple for help in accessing the data on the phone.

"I cannot say Pistorius's memory failure is suspicious, but the mobile phones were clearly in use up to the time of the killing," said lead investigator Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo.

On 13 August, just under a week before Pistorius’s next court appearance, it was reported that police had concluded their investigation.

It was also revealed that the paralympian would face two extra charges of discharging a gun in public.

Pistorius is expected to get a trial date for sometime in 2014 at Monday’s hearing. 
Read more on:    oscar pistorius

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