‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murder of His Girlfriend


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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File photo of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starting his men's 400m round 1 heats at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius starts his men’s 400m round 1 heats at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in this August 4, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

On Friday, 15th February, South African prosecutors formally charged “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee and one of the world’s most admired South African Olympians with shooting and killing his girlfriend, fashion model Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

This gruesome incident has shocked the world, and it has cast a shadow over the sportsman fondly known as the “Blade Runner” for his achievements using prosthetic limbs. On Thursday, Nike removed an advertisement from its website featuring Pistorius taking off for a run with the slogan “I am the bullet in the chamber.” The company issued a statement expressing sympathy and condolences to the families concerned and added that it would not comment further, noting that the situation is a police matter.

Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg
Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg, February 7, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Thembani Makhubele)

The Afrikaans newspaper Die Beeldt reported that Pistorius shot Reeva four times through a bathroom door in the hand, the pelvis, the chest and the head.

At Pretoria Magistrates Court, prosecutors told chief magistrate Desmond Nair that they would argue that Oscar Pistorius committed “premeditated murder” on February 14 at his upscale home at the Silver Woods secure housing estate in Pretoria.

When formally charged with one count of murder, Pistorius buried his head in his hands and cried silently. His defense lawyer said that Pistorius was in an “extremely traumatized state of mind.”

South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police at a Pretoria police station
“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius escorted by police at a Pretoria police station February 14, 2013. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Magistrate Nair postponed the application by the defense for bail until Tuesday and placed Pistorius in police custody.

Initial media reports said that Pistorius shot his girlfriend accidentally, thinking she was an intruder; however, on Thursday, a police spokeswoman discounted the media reports, and added that officers were investigating “previous allegations of a domestic nature.”

The police said when the shooting took place early Thursday in Pistorius’ home only the two of them were there. According to local media, the neighbors hearing a loud argument called the Police to Pistorius’ home just past midnight. Two hours later, around 3:00 a.m., the neighbors called the Police again after the shooting.

On Friday, Pistorius’ family and his management released a statement from London: “The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms,” and added that Pistorius “would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva.”

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