UK & World News
Oscar Pistorius Charged Over Girlfriend Murder
Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in South Africa.
The body of Reeva Steenkamp, a top South African model, was discovered at the athlete's property in the Silver Woods gated community in eastern Pretoria.
She had been shot four times. A 9mm pistol was found at the scene.
Initial reports in South African media suggested Miss Steenkamp was apparently shot as she woke him, trying to surprise him on Valentine's Day, and was mistaken for an intruder.
But police later said the shooting was being treated as a murder and that they were "very surprised" by those reports, which they said did not come from them.
Brigadier Denise Beukes confirmed the couple were alone in the house at the time of the shooting and there was no sign of forced entry.
"I can't confirm that it's related to the person that's arrested but I can confirm there has previously been incidents at the home of Mr Oscar Pistorius," she said, saying that there were "allegations of a domestic nature".
"There are witnesses and they have been interviewed this morning," she said. "We are talking about neighbours and people that heard things earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place."
Pistorius was arrested on Thursday morning and taken to hospital for a medical examination.
He emerged from a police station after questioning, flanked by plain-clothed officers and wearing a hooded jacket covering most of his face.
The athlete requested an immediate appearance at Pretoria Magistrate's Court, but prosecutors said this had been delayed until Friday morning to give forensic officers more time.
Police said they would be opposing bail when he appears in court.
The 26-year-old is alleged to have shot his 30-year-old model girlfriend in the head and upper body. She died at the scene.
Paramedics were called to his home between 4am and 5am local time on Thursday.
The couple are believed to have started dating in November.
Her uncle, Mike Steenkamp, told reporters her family was "devastated" that her life had been cut short.
Miss Steenkamp's publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, described her as "the sweetest human being" and "a talented and bright young girl", adding that the couple had a "healthy, fabulous relationship".
Miss Steenkamp, a law graduate from Port Elizabeth who had posed in men's magazine FHM, was active on Twitter the day before.
She tweeted: "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay"
In response to someone else's plans, she said: "That sounds amazing! Wow that's what it's all about! It should be a day of love for everyone :) may it be blessed!"
She was due to give a talk at a school in Johannesburg just hours after her body was found, and to star in South African reality TV series Tropika Island of Treasure at the weekend, in which celebrities and ordinary people are tasked with daily challenges in remote, exotic locations.
Photos of the model appeared in newspapers at the weekend, when she described Pistorius as an impeccable man who always had her best interests at heart.
The Johannesburg-born athlete, known as the Blade Runner because of the carbon fibre blades he uses on the track, made history in 2012 when he became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics.
In the Paralympics, he won gold in the 400m and another in the 4x400m relay.
Both of his legs were amputated below the knee just before his first birthday because of a congenital condition.
Last year Time Magazine named him as one of the world's 100 most influential people.
Pistorius, like many fellow South Africans, appeared to have serious concerns about his safety, and reportedly kept a revolver at his bedside and a machine gun by his window, as well as a cricket bat and baseball bat behind his bedroom door.
South Africa has some of the world's highest rates of violent crime with an average of nearly 50 people murdered each day. According to statistics, nearly 13 in every 100 people in the country own a gun.
Silver Woods is a high security complex with a three-metre-high wall, electric fence, a guarded entrance and regular patrols.
South Africa's M-Net cable TV channel said it was pulling an advertising campaign featuring Pistorius with immediate effect.
A Nike ad banner across the top of Pistorius' official website "I am the bullet in the chamber" has also been removed.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
Terrible but I have a suspicion theres more to this than meets the eye.the excuse seems flimsy to me, almost as if dreampt up by an 'advisor' to protect peoples perceptions of a 'national and global hero'?
If this is the case what torment Oscar is surely now going to suffer tragic absolutely tragic! Rip
This is terrible.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Are you for real? Pistorius is the man's surname
Accidentally shot her , four times !! Erm, does that sound right..... nahhh.
U would have thought by the 2nd shot he would have realized its a blonde supermodel and not a black south African. Very odd how many times she got shot.
Yes. How would he have known there was only one person
Ali, 'black South African?' Why specifically black?
I hope this is just a tragic case of mistaken identity/accident.
A Country of fear, locked inside a closed estate, driving the long way round a city, keeping out of city centres for fear of car hold ups. Africa could become the greatest country on earth, Mineral resources, wild life, scenery etc. but they find it easier to shoot and robe and not work together. This incident has happened in America too.
So right Eric. Unless one has lived there for a long time like I did one can't imagine how threatening the situation is. When the ANC came in this began to happen. I was in SA last year for quite a long time and the Black Africans I spoke to said that under white rule it was never as bad as it is now.
Yes, but under the 'white rule,' the native black population were subjugated. Absolutely banal bringing ethnicity and race into this incident.
He'll get sprung.
Its terrible. SA is such a violent society this sort of thing happens every day. If its not shooting its rape. Very violent society. I know people that have been murdered for their telephones or cars. I know of 2 month old babies being boiled because during a robbery the thieves did n't believe the householder had no safe.
Yeah right..this looks like he planned it all..how can u mistake a sexy blonde from a black african guy..he shot her four times before he noticed...i reckon she was gonna ditch him and he got peed off
Reports from South Africa say that police had previously been called to the residence regarding a number of "domestics".
Why would you want to surprise someone who sleeps with a pistol, machine gun and baseball bat at hand. jackanory
What a shame, its not just the USA thats have mindless gun laws thats allow untrained people to go round firing at will.
This story will run and run!!!!!! sorry had to say it....
Shooting her 4 times seems abit over the top. Looks to me like he hasn't got a leg to stand on
Easy access to guns in S/Africa maybe an argument went too far . Tragic.
He doesnt have a leg to stand on.....long prison sentence awaits....career over