Oscar Pistorius back in court

2013-06-03 22:53

Johannesburg – Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius will be back in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for his pre-trial hearing.

The Paralympian, who has kept out of the public eye, faces a life sentence if found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead in his house on Valentine's Day.

The world will probably only be given a brief glimpse of Pistorius as he appears for the first time since being whisked away from court and into a near four-month period of reclusion after being freed on bail.

Prosecutors say the hearing will probably last only minutes and be postponed until another date in August as police investigators continue to gather the evidence that will be presented at his trial.

"The proceedings will be an unopposed postponement", the justice and constitutional development department said in a statement. 

Pistorius is facing a charge of premeditated murder.

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

He was released on a R1m 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.

On Sunday night, Pistorius's uncle Arnold Pistorius said a leaked photograph, purportedly showing the scene where Steenkamp was shot dead, had "shaken" the family.

"We were shaken by the graphic images, leaked into the public domain this week, of the accident scene at Oscar's house," he said in a statement.

The picture was posted on the SkyNews website on Friday.

The 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.

Uphill battle

Pistorius’s defence team will have a difficult task on their hands, experts said.

Lawyers familiar to the case, but not representing Pistorius, said he was claiming "putative self-defence".

"The fact that he has admitted that he has killed her by pulling the trigger means the state has a prima facie case and it is expected of the accused to come and convince the court otherwise," Marius du Toit, a former prosecutor, magistrate and now defence attorney with over 20 years' experience in South Africa's justice system told CBC News.

He said that Pistorius’s account would be scrutinised in the finest detail.

Even with the principle of innocent until proven guilty, for any defendant in Pistorius's circumstances, "it's on you to come and show to the court that what [you] did was not so unreasonable", Du Toit said.

Martin Hood, a firearm lawyer, told CBC News: “I do not see how Oscar Pistorius could have concluded that a closed door constitutes danger to such an extent that his life is in danger.”

He has predicted an “uphill battle”, as putative self-defence is “extremely difficult” to prove.

"I do not see how Oscar Pistorius could have concluded that a closed door constitutes danger to such an extent that his life is in danger, bearing in mind that he had gone into that situation," Hood said.

"So, it begs the question why did he go looking for trouble?"

Why didn't he check where Steenkamp was, or just leave the room and the perceived danger? Simply, "what he should have done is… got out the bedroom," Hood said.

Family support

Pistorius's family continued to support him ahead of his appearance on Tuesday.

"We believe in him, love him and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead," said Arnold Pistorius.

The family asked that the legal process be allowed its run its course with integrity.

"The leaking of evidential material into the public domain, before the court case, does not advance this process. We continue to have great faith in the South African legal justice system and believe that Oscar's account of what happened on that terrible night in February will be borne out by the evidence that the defence team will lead in court," he said.

When asked about the photograph, Pistorius's legal team said it would discuss the issue.

"We will take this up among ourselves. Beyond that I cannot comment at this time," his lawyer Kenny Oldwage said on Friday.

National police spokesperson Phuti Setati said on Friday the police could not comment on the photograph because it did not know how it came to be in SkyNews's possession.

"We don't want to be distracted by these deliberate tactics. All that we want to do is secure a conviction, so we are working throughout and investigating professionally," he said.

  • WildCatSal - 2013-06-03 23:20

    We believe in him, love him and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead, said Arnold Pistorius. Take Note: What lies ahead.. Yup.. LIES and more LIES!

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 01:10

      He's guilty Hector...Yes he has no legs, yes he did this, he did that, but he also KILLED that girl...he is a disgrace for any disableb person trying to get somewhere in life

      WildCatSal - 2013-06-04 01:12

      'Innocent until proven guilty??' I wish people would stop saying that. He DID shoot her - there is no question of that. He killed her....HE SAID SO..

      Livvi Krige - 2013-06-04 01:46

      It's pretty normal for families to support one another, but his family are also revelling in the publicity and hype. The case will be postponed until August while the police look for evidence - what evidence is there more than a bullet riddled bathroom door and blood all over the place??? As in a recent article on News 24 - speaking to witnesses - like Reeva's dead body!!!! I agree with you, lies, lies and more lies!!

      WildCatSal - 2013-06-04 03:49

      Just a question to myself after seeing those crime scene photos.. It said TWO bullet holes through the door, yet Reeva had FOUR..? Why?

      Livvi Krige - 2013-06-04 04:37

      In this case, the whole innocent until proven guilty is the biggest load of bollocks I've ever heard! He admitted to killing her and I could understand that if he felt threatened and endangered by an intruder to shoot one bullet, but four!!! So the only thing to PROVE here is whether it was premeditated murder or culpable homicide. Anyway you look at it, it was definite intent to kill!!

      Silverwinged Eagle - 2013-06-04 06:19

      The other 2 bullets is likely in the missing panel

      Richard Scully - 2013-06-04 06:29

      I would believe the Pistorius family more if they said less. Clearly they are trying to sway public opinion to look at the case in one way only and that is to prevent their precious little sobbing Oscar from the prison sentence I believe he clearly deserves. C'mon NPA, your chance to jail a white man. Get the BEE percentage in jail a little less

  • Valerie Vale - 2013-06-03 23:25

    God be with you and your family.

      WildCatSal - 2013-06-03 23:29

      Who.. Reeva Steenkamp and her precious family..?

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-03 23:38

      Was God with him when he was shooting her....DEAD? Robbing her from her parents??? I just hope God gives justice to Reeva's family!

      Mashilo Philly Molele - 2013-06-03 23:41

      The victim's family or the murderer's?

      Daardie Wetter - 2013-06-04 06:53

      Why? Because he has a bible verse tattooed on his back?

      River Song - 2013-06-04 07:37

      Yes, may God support the wronged parties in this matter, the Steenkamp family, whose loss everyone seems to keep forgetting about.

  • Mowela's Arc - 2013-06-03 23:34

    Deliberate mistrial antics indeed by the defence.... As I said when the story broke, this is indeed a crime of passion... Older-addictive women can be such an "insaningly"-infuriating burden on younger weaker self-conscious men... & that is the case here... Me thinks murder-1 is a stretch... What has so infuriated the general public is Oscar's blantant lie, deviant & simple-minded story of the swart gevaar... Old blood-thirsty should have pleaded "temporary insanity" as he was enraged by a jealous inducing lover, his fits of rage in the past could have been played by his defence as a psychological malfunction that can be treated playing the compassionate human in us as well as the judge to set him free... Temporary insanity would have be more compelling as opposed to putative defence which says, "...I have the right to kill..." Eish mzala.... Mara I don't see the man doing 25, this is S.A phela bafwethu, were people seen to kill cops, in cold-blood, with eye witnesses around walking away with a R750 000.00 fine....

      Richard Scully - 2013-06-04 06:31

      I agree, and especially where he lives. I live in a similar place and we sleep with doors wide open. He was clearly not in any danger from intruders at the time

  • Moss Kop - 2013-06-04 00:14

    If I was u Oscar. I was just going to admit. How will u live knowing very well that u killed a defenceless woman.

  • Wayne Hambides - 2013-06-04 00:41

    We all know he will go free. ...

      Livvi Krige - 2013-06-04 01:09

      Pretty much!!! Freedom unfortunately is not free but if you have money, that's your get out of jail card. The fact that he is out on bail, is a fair indication of where this case is going!

  • Livvi Krige - 2013-06-04 00:55

    So the soap opera continues. No doubt, we will have Oscar Pistorious and dear ol' Uncle Arni publicised ad-nauseum again. Of course the case will be postponed while the police continue to collect evidence - seriously!! With his money, the South African (un)Justice system will no doubt make many more postponements. The fact that he is out on bail, is already indicative of the fact that money can buy freedom in SA. Whilst people wallow in jail for four or five years for a white collar crime and murderers and rapists walk free.

  • Masixole Vayo Ncuthu - 2013-06-04 02:38

    what he did was very wrong the court should give no mercy to him or his family. Reeves fam is goin thru hell. I liked him bt nt anymore

  • Gya - 2013-06-04 03:14

    People with money normally get away with it. Am beginning to believe the NPA is being corrupted. Even if convicted u'll be surprised when he is released on "health" reasons.

  • Justice Gezane - 2013-06-04 03:37

    only him knows the truth.

  • Justice Gezane - 2013-06-04 05:08

    lets give time to there court to prove him, k..,

  • Alfred Kiky Grey - 2013-06-04 05:23

    Stop waisting our time,just release Oscar thats what our Justice system is good at,jails are only poor in SA.

      Peasant McPoor - 2013-06-04 06:54

      You mean jails are only FOR the poor in SA ;)

  • Kutloano Nene - 2013-06-04 05:41

    Its sad dat some ppl say: he wil b free cause he s white. Dat being rascist n its wrong. If u lost hop 2d judicial system fight d government nt whites. Dis young man wil soon gets d fruits!

  • Mzi Ngubane - 2013-06-04 05:56 accused of murdering his girlfriend... I don't understand this, a man has admitted of killing but still called accused

  • Eric Khotha - 2013-06-04 06:05

    only god knws what happened the night of murder, he is the one who will judge oscar properly

  • Mbaiwa Ndou - 2013-06-04 06:09

    I hope that justice will prevail and will be saved. He shld rot in jail, take him out of the community he is a threat.

  • Mulalo Tshililo - 2013-06-04 06:11

    its really disturbing on how long this investigation is taking. I mean if it was just us normal citizens the trial would be over coupled with 3 life sentences. Money can certainly buy freedom. The justice system is only applicable to the poor.

  • Elvis Brown - 2013-06-04 06:14

    I understand Y his family SUPPORT n LOVE him,simply bcoz BIRDS OF SAME FEATHER,FLOCK 2GETHER,if Reeva was their daughter,they wld do the same....EMBARASS THE they do now.

      Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 06:30

      What you on about?

  • Mahlatse Masha - 2013-06-04 06:22

    Take this matter to the medical detectives;those guys are experts;some1 lost her life here and you know the accused but still you wanna hear from him(accused);what more do u still need cos he agrees that he is the one who pulled the trigger?

  • Lourens Setlako - 2013-06-04 06:29

    it is not about wht happened, h is a criminal let them put him were h belong.

  • Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 06:32

    Good Luck in court today Oscar! I hope everything goes well for you today!

      River Song - 2013-06-04 07:44

      Good luck? You wish him luck when he admitted to killing his girlfriend (even if he thinks shooting through a closed door is an accident)? What about "luck" for Reeva's family? Or does the fact that their daughter is dead not register for those with stars in their eyes? Would you like to be his next girlfriend? I'm sure he has another gun...

      Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 10:03

      Yes I wish him luck and strength to get through today and his trial! I dont need to explain myself or justify myself to you or anyone else!

  • Johann Potgieter - 2013-06-04 06:35

    To all those who judges out there. Remember Rudie Visagie, the old springbok rugby player who shot and admitted to killing his daughter by accident because he mistook her for a robber. The same questions can be asked, why did he not yell out to the suspected robber first, why did he shoot first. Yet, the legal system decided he was innocent. I am not saying Oscar is quilt or innocent...let's wait for the courts to decide.

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 06:49

      Oh piss off. He didnt wake up in a double bed, where is girlfriend wasnt and 'heard' something in the toilet and shot the toilet silly. And you still want to defend him, after there were police reports of fighting in the home that evening...after he said, she just pitched up there, when she was there the whole night?????

      Zakes Seema - 2013-06-04 06:54

      I think OP's case and Rudie's are different based on the evidence.

      Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 10:05

      It seems Ronell is under the impression only her point of view and opinion counts !! maybe in her world!!!! Leave Oscar alone, he made a mistake, one he will pay for the rest of his life!!

  • Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 06:37

    And some ppl will still 'love' him and believe it was an accident...makes me want to VOMIT!! All OP lovers can go explain to Reeva's parents why they love the killer so much. There is a book that piece of rubbish's aunt wrote...Profiling a serial killer...Read it...

      Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 06:43

      What has his aunts book got to do with anything? Are you suggesting Oscar is a serial killer? OMG that is quite an accusation, I trust you have the evidence to back up your allegations?

      Johann Potgieter - 2013-06-04 06:45

      @Ronell...who appointed you as judge? If this was you brother you would feel very different. You do your work and let the courts do their's

      Peasant McPoor - 2013-06-04 07:01

      Louise- oscar wasn't an abusive boyfriend- more like one of those one time, snap, murderer types. Johan-courts do their jobs....bwahahahah

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 07:02

      She describes a narcisist...she describes your beloved oscar, read the book. She helped catch killers, like the station strangler. The police asked her to advise in this case, cause she's so good, but not allowed to, cause she's family. If you read the book, you will understand why every family member supports oscar, but havent heard anything from Micky Pistorious...his aunt

      Brown Phelo Gorder - 2013-06-04 07:15

      Louise YES he is a Serial Killer!!!! I pray that it never happens 2 your sister what happened to Reeva!

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 07:19

      Thank you Peasant, he snapped, in the heat of the moment, killed the girl, cries cause he got caught...thats a narcisist. After bail, he just wanted to get on with his life??? Piss off all you oscar supporters. I do believe Reeva loved him, I also believe that he loves himself so much, there is no room for anyone else

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 07:39

      Some like Louise and Johann dont!!! I hope oscar gets to date one of their daughters

  • Reinhardt Rossouw - 2013-06-04 06:46

    Taking the psychological victim route, should have known. I'll say this again to those who still adore him, there is a side to OP you don't know. To each his own, my bet is he'll get off with a slap on the wrist, he's famous you know!! And don't draw parallels between the Visagie case and this one. They're not remotely the same.

  • Nyika M Ndlovu - 2013-06-04 07:06

    Time does fly hey, hope you have achieved half of your goals by now. Only 6 more months before the end of the year, remember if you not responsible with your life, life can change anytime. Who would have thought Oscar would be in such a mess last year in August when he was the most talked about man in England.

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2013-06-04 07:10

    So much hatred towards a person/incident is astounding. Do you know what, YOUR OPINION DOES NOT MATTER! Everyone is an expert whilst they know squat-all about nothing!

  • Danica Moll - 2013-06-04 07:10

    I think all of you just need to keep your mounths shut. This could have happend to any one of you and not one of you can say you would have done this or that. Keep judgding, those who judge will be judged. There is so many people standing behind Oscar as this was just a very unfortunate series of events. Both for Oscar and Reeva's family. So please, don't judge people because it could have been you.

      Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 09:57

      Thank you, nice to know there are a few sane people out there, people who don't walk in judgement of others, people who dont walk with blinkers on, people who do not blindly follow like sheep!! Its tragic, what happended, but is was a mistake!

  • Miguel Capelo - 2013-06-04 07:12

    I'm sure I am not the only one thinking this... What if the DEFENSE organized a leak of materials in order to poison the case?

      Ronell Germshuys - 2013-06-04 07:22

      You're not, thats why Im so sure he will walk!

  • Angela Gilmour - 2013-06-04 07:26

    Just a little off the subject. Everyone talks about the weaknesses of the NPA. Here's a thought. If you were in charge of this Country, and fraudulently stealing taxpayers money, would you want a strong prosecution service against you when your day in court arrives ?

  • Brown Phelo Gorder - 2013-06-04 07:33

    3 suicide Attempts from him by now wud make sense for me to believe it was a Terrible Accident anymore than going out to Bars and All, I'm Sorry but he makes me soooo sick this Oscar Character!

  • Louise Barnard - 2013-06-04 10:00

    Brown Phelo... Just like I pray that you or a loved one never makes a tragic mistake,,,,,,,

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