News / Africa

    Pistorius Bail Hearing Takes Bizarre Turn

    Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013.
    Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, February 20, 2013.
    Anita Powell
    Court proceedings have adjourned until Friday in the case of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. The bail hearing took a twist Thursday when it was revealed the lead investigator is facing attempted murder charges in an unrelatred 2011 incident.   South African police later said they are assigning a new investigator to the case. 

    Before Thursday's proceedings began, a local radio station reported the lead detective in the case, Hilton Botha, is facing seven charges of attempted murder.  The reinstated charges against Botha date back to 2011 when he and two other officers allegedly fired on a minibus.

    Already Botha’s testimony had been called into question by defense attorney Barry Roux, who took Botha’s arguments in the Pistorius case and systematically picked them apart.  Botha later faced a scolding from the magistrate over his testimony and police work.

    Roux told the court Thursday that the evidence against his client is at best, flimsy.

    “Your worship, and I say this with great deference, but the poor quality of the evidence of the investigating officer Botha further exposed an endeavor on the part of the state to avoid disastrous shortcomings in the state’s case,” he said.

    Roux argued that if Pistorius were denied bail, there would be shock and outrage.

    “Of course there will always be, when there’s someone killed, there will be someone that’s outraged," he said.

    "There will be a group of people that will be outraged," he added. "There will be a group of people that’s outraged because he’s charged… But the likelihood, we submit to you, does not exist in the context of this case and the facts before this court.  I think there will be a level of shock if he’s not released.”

    But prosecutor Gerrie Nel fought back, questioning the affidavit in which Pistorius said he did not intend to kill Steenkamp, and the athlete's character.

    “We say we’re astounded by the total lack of insight into the seriousness of what he has done.  If I read that statement, and I read what he says, and I read what he offers for bail,” Nes said.

    Pistorius insists that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar when he opened fire through a locked bathroom door in his house.  The prosecution said he intended to kill her and should be charged with premeditated murder.  

    The magistrate is expected to rule on bail for Pistorius Friday. Until then, the star paralympian remains in police custody.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kenny
    February 21, 2013 11:16 PM
    I hope the Magistrate does not allow bail, but sends this man straight back to a prison facility where he can be kept under 24 hour surveillance, ensuring that he does give evidence at his trial when the Court case commences. Were he to abscond or take his life, the facts would never be ascertained as to exactly what happened.

    by: Vickie from: USA
    February 21, 2013 3:05 PM
    No matter what else, Pistorius is a murderer plain and simple.

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora