MAXINE TWADDLE

Oscar Pistorius will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court tomorrow for the bail hearing in his murder case. Pistorius was formally charged with murder on Friday afternoon. The state will argue that the alleged murder of Pistorius’s girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was premeditated, according to state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Pistorius will remain in custody at the Brooklyn Police Station until his bail application is made. At Pistorius’s initial court appearance on Friday, both prosecution and defence agreed to postpone the application until early this week. This will give Pistorius’s legal team adequate time to prepare for proceedings, according to eNCA. Legally, the bail hearing can be postponed for a maximum of seven days. eNCA also reported that the state is set to oppose bail.

The media will be prohibited from recording the court proceedings live. Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux argued against live media coverage in consideration of Pistorius’s “extremely traumatised state of mind”. Media organisations argued that it would be in overwhelming public interest to broadcast proceedings.

Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair, who is presiding over the case, accepted the defence’s arguments that live broadcasting would not be in the interest of justice. Journalists may be present in the courtroom but no camera or audio equipment may be used while the court is in session.

Police continue their investigation into Steenkamp’s death. It has been confirmed that she died at Pistorius’s Pretoria home after receiving four gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. The shots were fired with a 9mm pistol which was recovered at the scene. A post-mortem was carried out on Friday, but the results will not be made public, according to the BBC.

Initial media reports indicated that Pistorius allegedly shot Steenkamp by accident after mistaking her for an intruder. It was suggested that she had attempted to enter his house in Silver Woods security estate in the early hours of last Thursday morning to surprise him for Valentine’s Day.

Police spokesperson Denise Beukes denied that the police ever said that Steenkamp was mistaken for a burglar.

Pistorius was arrested on Thursday morning and taken to a state hospital in Mamelodi where a district surgeon conducted various medical and forensic tests. The examination included blood-alcohol level tests, scans for physical injury and checks for the victim’s DNA under Pistorius’s fingernails.

Pistorius was kept overnight at the Boschkop Police Station in Pretoria. No other suspects were arrested in connection to the incident.

The police confirmed that they have previously investigated allegations “of a domestic nature” regarding the couple. Neighbours who were interviewed by police said that they heard shouting from the house on Wednesday evening.

Pistorius’s agency In-Site Athletic Management released a statement late on Friday afternoon in which the murder charges were rejected “in the strongest possible terms”.

Photos: bostonherald.com and Hendro van der Merwe

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