Paralympian facing murder charge
Oscar Pistorius will spend the night in jail before attending a court hearing at Pretoria Magistrate's Court at 7 am (GMT) tomorrow morning.
The South African Olympic sprinter is to be charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, early this morning at his Pretoria home. Police have confirmed Steenkamp suffered wounds to her head and hands. The 30 year old model and law graduate was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Police have confirmed that the gun used in the crime was a 9mm handgun, licensed to Pistorius.
Earlier today AFP quoted Beukes as saying there was a history of domestic disputes at Pistorius’ home.
"There's previously been incidents of allegations of domestic disputes at the home of the accused."
Initial reports into the shooting claimed it had been a tragic accident as Pistorious had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. The police moved quickly to distance themselves from that allegation.
The police spokesperson told reporters there were no signs of forced entry at the property. "The premises are fairly secure... This is a fairly secure estate."
According to The Mail & Globe Beukes said,"As the South African Police Service, we do not have a report based on those allegations. We only heard over the radio that the woman was shot after she was mistaken for an intruder."
Beukes added,"The surprise was that the information was given to the media. The police did not provide the information."
The Mail & Globe reported that police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said it was police procedure to take suspects in such cases for medical examination.
"The person is taken for a medical examination. It is a standard procedure.
"[Hospital staff] test under the nails, they look for scratches, bruises, and blood is taken for alcohol and drug screening."
Pistorius had told a New York Times reporter last year that he enjoyed going to his local shooting range, while a Daily Mail journalist had reported that Pistorious kept a machine gun, handgun, baseball bat and cricket bat in his home for self protection.
Pistorius earns approximately $1 million per year, much of it in endorsement deals from companies such as Nike, Oakley and South African TV channel M-Net.
M-Net had been running an advertising campaign with Pistorius as the star, in anticipation of this year’s Academy Awards.
M-Net spokesperson Lani Lombard told Times Live, "Out of respect and sympathy to the bereaved, M-Net will be pulling its entire Oscar campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius with immediate effect.”
Nike, the US sportswear giant which has faced scandal in recent years with Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods, also sponsor Pistorius. Their spokesperson for South Africa Seruscka Naidoo told Business Day Live "This is a very unfortunate story and it is still under investigation. We’ll not make any decision until we hear from Oscar or his agent.”
Other sponsors such as Oakley and BT, the British telecommunications company, declined to comment on the situation.
Pistorius was one of South Africa's most popular sportspeople and was last year named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People.
The sprinter had both legs amputated below the knee when 11 months old, due to a birth defect that meant he was born without bones below the knee in either leg. He competed in many sports as a young man until a fractured knee in rugby forced him to take up athletics as part of his rehad. He excelled at sprinting and soo
Pistorius won 6 gold medals in the paralympics, running with specially designed blades. He was the first paralympian to compete in the able bodied Olympics when he ran in the 400 metres at the 2012 London Olympics, reaching the semi-final. He also ran as part of the South African 4x400 metres relay team.