UK & World News

  • 3 March 2014, 23:04

Oscar Pistorius Trial Has Nail-Biting Start

He arrived only minutes before the hearing was due to begin and there was even a rumour that the central figure in this historic trial was too ill to attend.

The dozens of cameramen and journalists almost missed Oscar Pistorius as he crept up behind them in the pouring rain before slipping through the throng and into court.

Perhaps they have seldom seen him moving so slowly.

They may have been distracted by the chanting, dancing members of the ANC Women's League who were here to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence.

They have used previous hearings to highlight an issue that gets little publicity and few court convictions.

Other key figures arrived with more of a warning, the first being victim Reeva Steenkamp's mother June, who had heralded her own arrival with a published statement.

She entered court after vowing that she wanted to look Pistorius in the eye and let him see the hurt he had caused her by shooting dead her daughter.

The centre of Pretoria was jammed for the hour before court opened as all roads leading to North Gauteng High Court were sealed off, but traffic chaos is hardly an usual event in African cities.

A tent city has been erected by TV crews from around the world, all jockeying for the best positions across the road and on the first floor roof of the Post Office building opposite.

And boy, are we glad of the tents because it hasn't stopped raining since Saturday.

But there is a plentiful supply of food. In our midst the enterprising owner of a fried chicken shop has opened a little open-air cafe for the world's media.

The chicken doesn't taste as bad as its name suggests.

:: Sky News' live coverage of the trial is under way, and a special highlights programme will be broadcast every weekday at 9.30pm.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

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