News / Africa

    S. African Olympic Runner Charged with Murder

    Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder.
    Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder.
    South African running star Oscar Pistorius -- the first double-amputee to run at the Olympics -- will appear in court Friday on murder charges after a woman was shot dead at his residence.  Peter Cox reports from Johannesburg on new details in the case.

    Olympic and Paralympic athlete Pistorius, 26, was taken into custody early Thursday for allegedly shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria.
     
    Oscar Pistorius

    • Born without fibula bones
    • Legs amputated below the knee at 11 months
    • Ran with carbon fiber prosthetics that earned him nickname "Blade Runner"
    • In 2008, successfully appealed ban against competing in major competitions
    • Failed to qualify for Beijing Olympics
    • Won gold in 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters at 2008 Paralympics
    • In 2012, became first double-amputee to run in the Olympics
    Confirming the shooting, police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale  said a murder case has been opened.
     
    "In the early hours of this morning, police were called to an incident of shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house.  When they arrived they found a 30-year-old woman being attended to by paramedics, who then declared her dead on the scene," he announced.  "Further investigation in the house resolved a 9-millimeter firearm and a 26-year-old man has been taken into custody."
     
    National police spokeswoman Denise Beukes told reporters there was no sign of forced entry at Pistorius' home in Pretoria. 

    "The only two people on the premises were the resident and the deceased," she said, "and again the number of shots fired are part of the ongoing investigation."

    Arraignment

    Pistorius was originally to appear in court Thursday afternoon.  The appearance has now been postponed until Friday. 

    "The reason he did not appear today as it was planned, is because the police have been busy with the preliminary investigations," explained South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Medupe Simasiku. "The preliminary forensic investigations, your blood test and stuff.  Those are the things they need to do as soon as possible."

    Simasiku added that Pistorius would be held overnight.

    • Olympic and Paralympic running star Oscar Pistorius stands during court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates court, August 19, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl in the magistrates court in Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2013.
    • A man holds signs ahead of the court proceedings of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria Magistrates court, August 19, 2013.
    • A woman holds a photo of Reeva Steenkamp as she leaves her funeral in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, February 19, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius weeps in court at his bail hearing in Pretoria, February 15, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, November 4, 2012.
    • A newspaper vendor sets up his stall outside court ahead of Pistorius' court appearance in Pretoria, February 15, 2013.
    • Carl Pistorius, brother of Oscar, attends his brother's court appearance in Pretoria February 15, 2013.
    • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, South Africa, February 14, 2013.
    • Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, February 14, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, September 8, 2012.
    • Pistorius celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's 400m T44 classification during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, September 8, 2012.

    Before the murder

    Police confirm reports that neighbors heard yelling and shouting at the running star's home at the time of the shooting.  Police spokeswoman Beukes told reporters there have been calls to Pistorius' home before.

    "I can't confirm whether it's related to the person who has been arrested, but I can confirm that there have previously been incidents at the home of Mr. Oscar Pistorius," Beukes said.

    The victim is believed to be Pretorius’ girlfriend, former model Reeva Steenkamp, 30. Steenkamp's public relations agency, Capacity Relations, confirmed she has died.

    Jane Celliers, the director of Steenkamp’s modeling agency, said Steenkamp was a vivacious and successful model -- and an accomplished law student.  She had worked for the agency for seven years.

    Celliers said Pistorius and Steenkamp started dating at the end of last year and that Steenkamp had been happy with Pistorius.
     
    “We do not know what has happened and what has gone down at this time.  We are just incredibly devastated, as you can imagine," she admitted.  "And are waiting every half an hour.  When the news comes on and are listening with bated breath to hear what is going on.”
     
    Disability

    Pistorius was born without fibula bones and his legs were amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old.  He inspired millions by becoming a world class runner using high-tech prosthetics made out of a carbon-fiber compound.  The prosthetics won him a nickname -- the "blade runner" -- and his performance earned him a spot on South Africa's track-and-field squad at last year's Olympics in London.
     
    The news that one of the country's most well-known athletes has been involved in a shooting is leaving many South Africans stunned, including Lizelle Van Huyssteen of Johannesburg.

    "I was just so shocked and dismayed and my first feeling was that it was very tragic and I feel sorry for the guy, if that's what happened," Van Huyssteen said.
     
    As many here speculate on what may have happened at Pistorius' residence, they all can agree that the situation is tragic.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora