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Oscar Pistorius to appear in Pretoria court
Pretoria - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will this morning appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court facing a murder charge.

Pistorius’s court appearance follows the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in a Valentine’s Day shooting in the early hours of Thursday.

Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius’s home in Silver Woods country estate in Pretoria East.

The athlete spent Thursday night in a holding cell at Boschkop police station.

Pistorius's lawyer on Thursday said he would apply for bail. Police, meanwhile, said they would oppose Pistorius's bail application.

Initial reports on the shooting suggested it was a case of mistaken identity, and that the shooter had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.

The police, however, later said this information did not come from them.

Pistorius formed part of Team South Africa’s Paralympic team that notched up 29 medals at last year’s London Paralympics.

In 2007, Pistorius, who is a double amputee, took part in his first international competition for able-bodied athletes. –
Pretoria – Athlete Oscar Pistorius’s murder charge is to be treated as a schedule six category offence, Pretoria Magistrate Desmond Nair says.

This is a section of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) which deals with extremely serious offences.

Pistorius appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. He was charged with murder on Friday after the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day at his home in Pretoria.

Steenkamp’s family has held a private funeral ceremony in her home town of Port Elizabeth.

The court is currently in recess and is then expected to proceed to the bail application. –
Pretoria - South African paralympic star, Oscar Pistorius, who is standing accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, has been remanded in police holding cells.

His bail application in the Pretoria Magistrates Court will reconvene tomorrow at 9am. He will be kept at the Brooklyn police holding cells.

Earlier, Magistrate Desmond Nair said Pistorius’s murder charge was to be treated as a schedule six category offence. This is a section of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) which deals with extremely serious offences.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said in a statement on Tuesday the nation was still shocked by the Valentine’s Day murder.

“We are once again shocked because none of our sporting heroes and heroines should be associated with such acts of violence against woman and children in our society.

“We live in a world where we seek to build role models who can be exemplary to our society and youth. For that Oscar has been our torch bearer and an international icon who stood against human rights abuses,” he said.

Mbalula, however, urged the nation to uphold the principles of the constitutional democracy and jurisprudence.

“We want to re-iterate that no one is above the law and we call on our people to uphold the principle of presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by the court of law.”

Steenkamp’s family held a private funeral ceremony in her home town of Port Elizabeth today. -
Pretoria – Pretoria Magistrate Desmond Nair has ruled that athlete Oscar Pistorius will be released on bail after the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

“I come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail,” said Nair as he delivered his bail decision in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon.

Bail has been set at R1 million. Pistorius can be released after paying an amount of R100 000.

Among other conditions, he must hand over all passports and firearms.

Pistorius was charged last Friday with the murder of Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day. He had been detained at the Brooklyn police station.

Nair said none of the factors for refusing bail had been established. He didn’t believe Pistorius was a flight risk or that he would interfere with state witnesses or that there was proper evidence that his release on bail would cause a public outrage and that he did not have a propensity for violence.

Also, he said the accused had offered a version of what happened in his affidavit at a very early stage. He had tried to reach out to meet the state’s case, said Nair.

Nair said it was practically impossible for the state to have all the pieces of the puzzle within a week.

“The defence has failed to show this court that there is weakness in the state’s case to the point that it can show an exceptional circumstance. However, [the state] can’t show that its case is so strong and watertight that he feels he needs to flee or evade his trial.”

Nair stuck to his earlier ruling to treat the charge against Pistorius as a schedule six offence, however, it was not up to him to find him guilty or not.

Pistorius’s family members have attended the court proceedings.

Pistorius will appear in court on 4 June. –