News / Africa

    Judge Clears Pistorius for Travel

    Oscar Pistorius's lawyers Barry Roux (L) and Brian Webber prepare documents before the start of the application to appeal some of his bail conditions at a Pretoria court in Pretoria, March 28, 2013.
    Oscar Pistorius's lawyers Barry Roux (L) and Brian Webber prepare documents before the start of the application to appeal some of his bail conditions at a Pretoria court in Pretoria, March 28, 2013.
    A South African judge has eased bail restrictions on Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, clearing the path for him to compete in athletic events abroad once again.

    Pistorius can now head overseas, drink alcohol, live without random police visits and drug tests, and he can return to the home where he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp, his model girlfriend.

    The South African Olympian was not in court Thursday morning, but his attorneys argued in his absence that the bail conditions set late last month by Magistrate Desmond Nair were far too strict.

    South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013.South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013.
    x
    South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013.
    South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on February 22, 2013.
    High Court Judge Bert Bam did not hold back on criticism of the magistrate's original bail conditions. "The term entitling the correctional officer to visit the appellant at any reasonable time, day or night, to ascertain the appellant's 'well-being and compliance with thee conditions,' is absolutely unfair, unreasonable and in total disregard to the appellant's right to privacy and family life," he said.

    The judge said the original bail conditions seemed to disregard the circumstances of the case.

    "The magistrate, in my view, misdirected himself in reasoning the appellant was not, in the circumstances, entitled to less stringent bail conditions. The magistrate should have kept in mind that every case has to be dealt with on its own merits. Accordingly, I find the magistrate's decision not to grant the appellant the right to use his passport was wrong," said Bam.

    Prosecutor Gerry Nel opposed the appeal on the grounds that Pistorius' attorneys should have returned to the magistrate's court rather than ask the high court to ease the bail conditions. His argument gained little traction with the judge, who granted all parts of the appeal, including a request for relaxation of conditions that had not been entered in court records, but only were read aloud during the concluding session of last month's bail hearing.

    Defense lawyer Barry Roux said Pistorius has no immediate plans to compete in any athletic events, but since the case is expected to drag on for months, he should be able to resume athletic competition and earn a living.

    "It's only, only, only to earn income. That's his sole source of income, whatever can come from that. No other reason and under the controlled circumstances," said Roux.

    Pistorius still faces murder charges for killing Steenkamp at his home on February 14. The trial is not expected to begin until late this year.

    Judge Bam said Pistorius can travel internationally if he documents his travel plans to prosecuting attorneys at least seven days in advance, and returns his passport to authorities after he is back in South Africa.

    Medupe Simasiku, spokesman for the prosecution, did not comment on the court decision, but said he expects that Pistorius will abide by all rules set by the judge.

    "We believe that he will comply by the bail conditions and whatever his legal representatives have said will be able to be kept as promised, and he will be able to attend court as required," said Simasiku.

    Pistorius' next court appearance is set for June 4, when indictments are expected to be handed down by the prosecution.

    • Oscar Pistorius's lawyers Barry Roux (L) and Brian Webber prepare documents before the start of the application to appeal some of his bail conditions at a Pretoria court, March 28, 2013.
    • State prosecutor Gerrie Nel prepares for a hearing in the Pretoria, South Africa high court, March 28, 2013.
    • February 22, 2013: Oscar Pistorius in court in Pretoria, South Africa for his bail hearing.
    • Relatives of Oscar Pistorius hug each other ahead of proceedings at the Pretoria magistrates court February 22, 2013.
    • Reeva Steenkamp's casket arrives ahead of her funeral ceremony in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, February 19, 2013.
    • Feb. 19, 2013: Carl Pistorius, right, and Henke Pistorius, the brother and father of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, charged with the shooting death of his girlfriend attend Oscar's bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa.
    • Investigating officer Hilton Botha, the lead detective in the Pistorius murder case, during a break in proceedings, February 21, 2013.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora