Oscar Pistorius whisked away from court

2013-06-04 10:13
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court during his pre-trial hearing. (Ginny Stein via Twitter)

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court during his pre-trial hearing. (Ginny Stein via Twitter)

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Oscar Pistorius arrives at court

2013-06-04 09:25

Watch Oscar Pistorius arrive outside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court ahead of his pre-trial hearing.WATCH

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius kissed his family and they all walked out of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court together on Tuesday morning after his case for the alleged murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was postponed to 19 August.

"Mr Pistorius, the matter against you has been postponed for further investigation," said acting Magistrate Daniel Thulare minutes earlier.

"Yes your honour," replied Pistorius.

His bodyguards helped him out of the building and more than 10 police officers helped as Pistorius was whisked away from the court building in a Silver Fortuner, which had been idling on the busy Francis Baard Street adjacent to the court entrance.

Some journalists fell in the ensuing push and shove to get closer.

Further investigation

In a session of less than 20 minutes, Thulare heard that the prosecution and defence had agreed to a postponement for further investigation.

"The request for the postponement is based on the State needing more time for further investigation," submitted prosecutor Andrea Johnson.

But further details of the postponement would not be discussed, as agreed by both parties.

Pistorius's counsel Barry Roux stood up and confirmed this.

"On that day [August 19] it won't be only to report back," he said.

"We have agreed to postpone for further investigation," said Roux.

'Trial by media'

Thulare, who had expressed concern over media attention and a "trial by media", also told the State to investigate how information related to the case came into the public domain.

"It's important that we invite our colleagues from around the world to respect the republic's processes," said Thulare.

He said the Constitution was important and needed to be respected.

He wanted this done so that it did not have a "negative impact on the South African judicial system or scandalise it".

He did not say exactly which information, but last Friday images purportedly showing the scene where Steenkamp was shot dead, were posted on the Sky News website.

A photograph shows blood on a toilet seat, and a pool of blood on the floor. Bullet holes in the bathroom door are marked with tape, and a panel near the door handle is taped-up.


Justifying the defence and prosecution's decision not to give further details of their need for a postponement, Johnson said the attention generated by Steenkamp's murder was not something the prosecution or the State could control.

"I don't think that anyone's rights should be overridden," said Johnson.

She said Pistorius had the right to be treated like any other person.

Pistorius was released on the same amended bail conditions and warned to comply with them.

He was charged with premeditated murder after Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home on 14 February.

During a bail hearing in February, Pistorius's defence read out a statement in which he said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

He was released on bail on 22 February, but under conditions which he later challenged in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Several of the conditions were relaxed, including bans on international travel and alcohol consumption.

- See News24's Pistorius Special Report.

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

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius

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