3 March 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Murder Trial to Take Off

On Monday, the presentation and rejection of facts from fiction and frenzy will begin in the High Court in Pretoria as Oscar Pistorius --once South Africa's golden boy -- goes on trial for the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius faces charges of premeditated murder and contravening the Firearms Control Act in the trial which is expected to last at least three weeks.

The proceedings in the wood-panelled courtroom will be broadcast live on television and radio, with the initial indictment listing 107 witnesses to testify for the State.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux will each fight for their version of events to stand up to the scrutiny of Judge Thokozile Masipa who will preside over the trial.

The double amputee Paralympic athlete has admitted to shooting Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year.

At his bail hearing, Pistorius's lawyer submitted the athlete had thought he was shooting an intruder, when he fired his pistol through a door to a toilet.

In the days running up to the trial, media outlets have vied with each other for the most salacious details they could give their readers; publishing and broadcasting, amongst others, a video of Pistorius shooting a watermelon, details of a new teenage girlfriend, reports of allegedly leaked prosecution documents and a gallery of graphic depictions of key people and events.

Gauteng traffic police have warned motorists and pedestrians of high security and expected congestion around the High Court from Monday morning.

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Pistorius Murder Trial to Start

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