21 February 2013

South Africa: Pistorius Case Will Put Spotlight On SA Judiciary

Photo: Werner Beukes/Sapa
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius enters the dock at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Pretoria — South Africa's judicial system will come under global scrutiny as the case against murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius continues to make local and international headlines, Media Tenor SA said on Friday.

Gun ownership, shoddy police work, and high crime levels would "take a side step" in what could be South Africa's biggest story in the past ten years, said CEO Wadim Schreiner.

Pistorius, has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14.

Pistorius has been making a formal bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court since Tuesday.

The matter has attracted international media attention with journalists and news teams being sent to cover the case.

Schreiner said, so far the manner in which the case had been reported on across the globe was fair with both the defence and prosecution's argument being reported on.

"So far, they [international media] appreciate the legal process," he said.

"At this point, there is no doubt that the most important thing is the judicial process, as we are yet to deal with Dewani," Schreiner said.

Shrien Dewani of the United Kingdom is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon in South Africa in November 2010.

Although he has denied the allegations, efforts are being made to have him extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

In December last year Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said Dewani, whose extradition was halted in March over mental health concerns, would face a five-day hearing from July 1 if he was fit to stand trial.

The outcome of Pistorius' bail application was expected to be heard after lunch on Friday.

Pretoria Magistrate Desmond Nair adjourned proceedings after hearing submissions from the State and the defence.

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