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Wed Apr 23 19:24:35 SAST 2014

Pistorius to appear in court on Friday

Sapa | 14 February, 2013 16:540 Comments
Oscar Pistorius (R) and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg, February 7, 2013. South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on February 14, with shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria
Image by: Thembani Makhubele / REUTERS

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will only appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"He will be kept in police custody," said National Prosecuting Authority official Medupe Simasiku.

Bail will be opposed when Pistorius appears, police spokeswoman Brigadier Denise Beukes told reporters earlier.

She declined to elaborate.

Pistorius' model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home in the early hours of Thursday.

Pistorius was held at the Boschkop police station in the morning, then seen by a Sapa reporter at the Mamelodi Day Clinic after a high speed convoy drove him there.

His sister Aimee was seen arriving with a jacket and white trousers, presumed to be for his court appearance.

His lawyer Kenny Oldwage was expected to apply for bail.

Speaking generally, and without commenting specifically on Pistorius, Beukes said it was a routine process for a suspect to be taken for a medical examination in such cases.

"The person is taken for a medical examination. It is a standard procedure," she said.

"They [hospital staff] test under the nails, they look for scratches, bruises, and blood is taken for alcohol and drug screening." Pistorius was co-operating with police.

Beukes said there had been incidents of domestic violence at his house.

"I confirm there had been previous incidents of a domestic nature at his place, but this will form part of the investigation," she said.

There was no sign of forced entry into Pretorius' house and reports that the woman was shot after she was mistaken for an intruder did not emanate from police.

"As the SA 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 later: "The surprise was that the information was given to the media. The police did not provide the information."

Beukes said forensic detectives were collecting evidence from the crime scene and journalists would not be allowed inside until police handed over the scene to the estate's security company.

Meanwhile, international sportswear brand Nike has declined to comment on its future relationship with Pistorius.

"This is a police matter and is under investigation," Nike SA spokeswoman Seruscka Naidoo said.

"From Nike we extend our condolences to everyone affected by this."

Nike is one of Pistorius's five major sponsors. He has appeared in a number of commercials for the company since 2008.

Nike's website www.nike.com/za/en_gb was down on Thursday afternoon.

Also, M-Net withdrew its advertising campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius on Thursday, the television channel said.

"M-Net concluded a once-off, short-term contract with Oscar Pistorius for a six-week campaign to promote the Academy Awards," spokeswoman Lani Lombard said.

"The agreement has come to an end."

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