Oscar Pistorius breaks down in court

2013-02-15 11:40
Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AP)

Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AP)

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Oscar Pistorius leaves police station

2013-02-15 10:04

Watch as Oscar Pistorius is seen leaving Boschkop police station where he spent the night in police custody.WATCH

Pretoria - Onlookers in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court tweeted that athlete Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears as he waited for court proceedings to start on Friday.

People kept squeezing into Court C ahead of Pistorius's first appearance after the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

@SmithInAfrica said Pistorius was sobbing, shaking, almost bending over double in the dock.

@barrybateman tweeted that Pistorius is "sobbing uncontrollably in the dock. His father places his hand on his back". He added that his jaw is tightly clenched.

His advocate described Pistorius as being in an "extreme traumatised state of mind" and said he doesn't want this televised.

Red and white police tape was used to mark the line which photographers and cameramen could not cross.

He was arrested on Thursday after Steenkamp was shot dead in his home, in Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria.

Officials had rescheduled cases which had already been set down. Pistorius's sister Aimee and his father Henke were in the packed court.

Socialite and businessman Kenny Kunene was among them. Court officials asked "non-essential" people to leave, but nobody budged.

A media list was held at the door to control access for the queue of journalists.

After spending a night in jail, Pistorius arrived at court shortly before 09:00 with a jacket over his head and a policeman covering his face with a book as media surged towards him.

Wearing a black suit with a white shirt, the man usually associated with sporting events or endorsements of high-end products entered the building.

The court session had been expected to start at 10:00. He was expected to apply for bail. The State said on Thursday it would oppose this.

Pistorius spent most of Thursday being questioned by police about the Valentine's Day shooting of Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, and undergoing routine medical tests.

At first it was reported there had been an accidental shooting, he having mistaken Steenkamp, his girlfriend, for a robber at his home in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Police later distanced themselves from that information.

Crowds gathered outside the court, with street vendors racing in with stock such as a trolley load of mielies, to take advantage of the extra business.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius

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