Feb 19 2013
Lawyers acting for Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius are expected to apply for him to be given bail when he appears in court charged with murdering his girlfriend.
Pistorius was arrested after model Reeva Steenkamp was shot at his Pretoria home on Thursday.
Pistorius, 26, was remanded to a Pretoria police station after he appeared in court on Friday, when prosecutors said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the South African athlete, which means he could face a life sentence. Police have said they oppose bail.
The appearance at Pretoria Magistrates Court will be made on the same day as the model's funeral, expected to be a private service, after her body was returned to her home town of Port Elizabeth.
Her mother June has described her "horrendous" torment at her daughter's death. Mrs Steenkamp told South African newspaper The Times: "She loved like no one else could love. She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone. Just like that, she is gone. In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here."
His arrest triggered shock across the globe and prompted rumours that he might have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong. But police swiftly distanced themselves from that suggestion and said there had been previous incidents of a "domestic nature" at Pistorius's house.
His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the "strongest terms". Pistorius's father said he had "zero doubt" that Steenkamp's death was a tragic accident and that his son may have acted "on instinct". Henke Pistorius said he believed the model was killed after being mistaken for an intruder at his son's house. He said: "When you are a sportsman, you act even more on instinct. It's instinct - things happen and that's what you do."
Pistorius's best friend claimed the sports star called him minutes after the shooting telling him "there has been a terrible accident", according to the Sunday People. Justin Divaris said: "It's all very sad. Oscar called me at 3.55am saying that Reeva had been shot. It was very traumatic. By the time we got there it was already a crime scene and we weren't allowed in the house."
Pistorius's management company has issued a statement announcing it had "no option" but to cancel all future races the double amputee was contracted to compete in. Managing agent Peet Van Zyl said the athlete's "key focus is defending himself against this serious charge".
Pistorius, who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was contracted to compete in the Manchester City Games on May 25, following Qantas Tour races in Australia on March 9 and 16 and meetings in Rio de Janeiro (March 31) and Iowa (April 26).