State to charge Pistorius with pre-meditated murder

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pretoria - The State intends to charge Paralympian Oscar Pistorius with pre-meditated murder after the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

Pistorius's murder case was postponed to February 19 in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court, after a highly charged first appearance today.

He will stay in police custody at the Brooklyn police station until his appearance on Tuesday.

The postponement was granted to allow the defence time for further preparation, and to properly categorise the charge against him in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

Pistorius’s court appearance follows the death of 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.  -