Friday, 22 February 2013

OSCAR PISTORIUS ; FRESH UPDATES AS HE WAS GRANTED BAIL

The world woke up to the devasting news that the south african blade runner has killed his girlfriend on a day,saint valentine's day,when love are meant to be shared freely between lovers and since then all attention is beamed on the former apartheid colony,south africa, for updates on the premeditated murder case of oscar pistorius as the events unfold in the court room as well as outside of it.
Olusola Adebayo takes a look at the drama of the last nine days.


WHO IS OSCAR PISTORIUS


Oscar Pistorius was born to Henke and Sheila Pistorius on 22 November 1986 in Sandton, Johannesburg, in what was then Transvaal Province (now Gauteng Province) of South Africa. He grew up in a Christian home, and has an elder brother, Carl, and a younger sister, Aimée. Pistorius credits his late mother, who died at the age of 43 when Pistorius was 15 years old, as a major influence in his life. He is a White South African with Italian ancestry from his mother's grandfather, an Italian emigrant to Kenya.
Pistorius was born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. He attended Constantia Kloof Primary and Pretoria Boys High School where, between the ages of 11 and 13, he played rugby union in the school's third XV team, water polo and tennis. He also played water polo and tennis at provincial level. In addition, Pistorius took part in club Olympic wrestling, and trained at Jannie Brooks's garage gym in Pretoria, South Africa. After a serious rugby knee injury in June 2003, he was introduced to running in January 2004 while undergoing rehabilitation at the University of Pretoria's High Performance Centre with coach Ampie Louw, and "never looked back". His first racing blades were fitted by South African prosthetist Francois Vanderwatt. Because he was unable to find suitable running blades in Pretoria, Vanderwatt ordered some to be made by a local engineer. However, as these quickly broke, Vanderwatt referred Pistorius to American prosthetist and Paralympic sprinter Brian Frasure to be fitted for blades by Icelandic company Össur.


MURDER CASE


On 14 February 2013, it was reported that a woman had been shot and killed at Pistorius's Pretoria gated community home, with one police spokesman reportedly stating the woman was Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius's girlfriend. Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702 told Sky News that police had arrested a 26-year-old man believed to be Pistorius on suspicion of murder and a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene. Chief investigating officer Hilton Botha later confirmed that he arrived at the house at 04:15, to be met by Pistorius, his brother and a lawyer. Steenkamp was found lying dead on the ground floor, wearing white shorts and a black vest, covered in towels.
Police charged Pistorius with Steenkamp's murder, and Pistorius appeared in the Magistrates Court in Pretoria on 15 February, to face formal premeditated murder charges.


OSCAR'S ACCOUNT


The central extracts of the court affidavit of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last week.
The affidavit was read out in Pretoria magistrates court by the head of Pistorius' defence team, Barry Roux.
– By about 2200 on Feb. 13 we were in our bedroom. She was doing yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television. My prosthetic legs were off. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier.
– I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm – a 9mm Parabellum – underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.
– During the early morning hours of 14 Feb. 2013 I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised someone was in the bathroom.
– I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There were no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetics legs on, I have mobility on my stumps.
– I believed someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed.
– On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.
– I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.
– It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window.
– As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself.
– I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet, we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped.
– I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to call the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance.
– Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on the light. Reeva was not responding.
– When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in the bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet.
– I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting on to the balcony and screamed for help.
– I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open. I think I must have then turned on the light. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door. Reeva was slumped over but alive.
– I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I phoned Johan Stander, who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help. I went downstairs to open the front door.
– I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to the hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down, Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms. I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.
– With the benefit of hindsight, I believe that Reeva went to the toilet when I went out on the balcony to bring the fan in. I cannot bear to think of the suffering that I have caused her and her family, knowing how much she was loved.
– I also know that the events of that tragic night were as I had described them and that in due course I have no doubt the police and the expert investigators will bear this out.


BOTHA DISAGREE


However, in evidence to the bail hearing, chief investigating officer Hilton Botha stated during cross-examination that there were no police records of Pistorius having previously reported death threats or other crimes, but admitted that police had made procedural mistakes during the initial investigation of Pistorius' home, and had found no evidence that directly contradicted Pistorius' account of the shooting. Later, prosecutors questioned Botha again, and he said the distance was closer.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that Pistorius could not have gone past his bed without having seen that Steenkamp was not in it.  Botha also said that .38-calibre pistol rounds were found in a safe, but that no pictures were taken of them, and that the ammunition was taken away by others at the scene.


BOTHA IN SOUP?


The case against Oscar Pistorius took another astonishing turn on Thursday when the lead detective investigating the case was sacked after being charged with seven counts of attempted murder himself.
It emerged that Hilton Botha, who had given an unconvincing performance in the witness stand on Wednesday, and two other police officers are accused of drunkenly firing shots at a minibus carrying seven passengers in October 2011.
The case had previously been dropped but the charges against Botha were reinstated on Wednesday, as he argued before Pretoria magistrates court for Pistorius to be denied bail. The long-serving officer is due to appear in court in May.


BAIL OR JAIL HEARING FOR FRIDAY


The blade runner will know his fate as far as his bail from the police custody his concerned on friday,22nd of february 2013 in the presence of the presiding magistrate, the Chief Magistrate of Pretoria Desmond Nair.
Nair will decide if Pistorius is freed with conditions or if he is held until trial. Pistorius faces the sternest bail conditions in South Africa because of the seriousness of the charge, meaning his defence lawyers have to prove there is an "exceptional" reason for him to be freed.
He has been held at a police station in Pretoria since last week, but suspects who are denied bail are typically held in a prison.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux argued on Thursday that the evidence backs up Pistorius' statement that he shot through a toilet door at his home because he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, killing her by accident.
"I think there will be a level of shock in this country if he is not released (on bail)," Roux said in court.
Opposing bail, prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued Pistorius was too willing to shoot. The prosecution says Pistorius planned to kill his 29-year-old girlfriend, a model and budding reality TV star, after an argument in the early hours of Valentine's Day.
In 2009 Pistorius was arrested and charged with common assault by South African police for slamming a door on a woman at his home. The charges were later dropped.
Will he be second be time lucky? only time will tell

BREAKING...........PRETORIA

 Oscar Pistorius was granted bail Friday,
 paving the way for him to be freed from custody pending his trial in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair made the ruling Friday after four days of arguments from prosecution and defense in Pistorius' bail hearing, and after spending about one hour and 45 minutes announcing his decision.


Nair said Pistorius' affidavit, in which he gave his version of the events of the shooting on morning of Feb. 14 in a sworn statement, had helped his application for bail in Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Pistorius' supporters shouted "Yes" when the magistrate made his ruling. Nair then ordered a court break before establishing the terms of the bail.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp in the predawn hours of Feb. 14. The athlete says he shot his girlfriend accidentally believing she was an intruder in his house. Prosecutors say he intended to kill Steenkamp and charged him with premeditated murder, saying the shooting  followed a loud argument between the two.


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