South African Prosecutor Gerrie Nel charged Olympian Oscar Pistorius with premeditated murder of his model girlfriend at a bail hearing on Tuesday. The prosecutor said that Pistorius shot 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door of his home in a guarded and gated complex in the South African capital, Pretoria.
Investigators have found no evidence to support Pistorius’ version that he mistook his girlfriend Steenkamp for a burglar, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court was told on Tuesday. “There is no possible information to support his version that it was a burglar,” said State prosecutor Gerrie Nel in a submission at the bail hearing.
At the time of the shooting there were only two persons at Pistorius’s home, Nel said. “The door was broken open from the outside,” Nel told the court, asking why a burglar would lock himself in the bathroom.
Escorted by police, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius arrived early at a courthouse in South Africa’s capital on Tuesday for a bail hearing in the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, in a gray suit, blue shirt and tie appeared grim and solemn in court. He nodded after the Chief Magistrate asked if he was well.
The shooting death in the early hours of Valentine’s Day of Steenkamp, in Pistorius’ home in a gated neighbourhood had shocked South Africans and many around the world who idolized Pistorius for overcoming adversity to become a sports champion, competing in the London Olympics last year in track besides being a Paralympian.
Journalists watched Pistorius, head covered with a hood, leave the police station and arrive at the back entrance to the courthouse in Pretoria.
Pistorius’ brother Carl and long-time track coach Ampie Louw, the man who convinced Pistorius to take up athletics, were also in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court building, pointing out friends of the family who should be allowed in, as dozens of people waited to go in through the public entrance.