Olympic and Paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius aka Blade Runner wept as he stood before South African prosecutors on Friday when they announced they intended to charge him with premeditated murder.
Now the man who is undoubtedly the most famous disabled athlete in the world and who has been an inspiration to millions of people, faces life imprisonment if convicted.
Pistorius’ girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp died of gunshot wounds on Valentine’s Day at his luxurious Silver Woods gated community home in Pretoria. Initially many media reports suggested that Pistorius mistook her for a burglar as home invasions in South Africa are a serious problem, however police said they were surprised by this angel of reports and hinted that there had been incidents of a domestic nature at the Pistorius home before.
At the court house, it is said that Pistorius, 26, cried uncontrollably during the hearing and that his sobs were so loud that at one point Chief Magistrate Desmond Nasir told him to “take it easy”.
Magistrate Nasir banned television stations from the hearing and dismissed their requests to air it live, photographers were prohibited from taking snapshots while court was in session. Pistorius was accompanied by his brother Carl and his father Henke, who both reached out to comfort him at separate times while he sat in the dock.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that he was pursuing a charge of premeditated murder against Pistorius, who did not enter a plea at the hearing, though his family and management later issued a statement saying that the “alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms.”
The statement also said;
“He would also like to express his thanks through us today for all the messages of support he has received — but as stated our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family — regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.”
South African opinion still appears divided over the incident, there are many who want wholeheartedly to believe that their sporting hero did mistake his girlfriend for an intruder, whereas others are pointing to his colorful and often controversial private life as signs of his guilt.
Image by ANTOINE DE RAS / Getty Images
Source: Associated Press