Oscar Pistorius’ trial over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has been postponed until August 19 after prosecutors asked for more time to build the murder case against him.

The judge in the case warned that the Paralympic champion has faced ‘trial by media’ due to the relentless reporting on the high-profile case.

Pistorius, who made history when he competed in last year’s Olympics, has been on bail since February, when he was arrested following the death of model Miss Steenkamp.

Dressed in a dark suit and tie, Pistorius was calm and composed throughout the hearing.

Sipping from a bottle of water, he spoke only to confirm that he had understood after the magistrate confirmed that the hearing would be postponed and the same bail conditions would apply.

The South African athlete is expected to stand trial later this year or early next year.


Postponed: Oscar Pistorius’ trial over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has been postponed until August 19 after prosecutors asked for more time to build the murder case against him.

South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius
South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius

Delayed: Looking fit and healthy, the Paralympic champion stared straight ahead as his trial was delayed. It is expected to begin later this year or early next year



Magistrate Daniel Thulare warned that Pistorius, 26, should be treated like any other defendant to ensure he receives a fair trial.

He said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should ‘seriously look’ at whether any of the coverage of the case had scandalised the court.

He also made a public appeal for anyone with information about the case to contact the authorities.

Mr Thulare told the hearing that reporters and court officials had a duty to ‘preserve the sanctity of the fountains of justice in the republic’, and avoid prejudicing the proceedings.

The trial will be judge-only, so there is no danger of British-style contempt of court.

Defence laywer Barry Roux told the court the defence team did not oppose an adjournment of the case to August 19.

Pre-trial issues are expected to be dealt with at the hearing on August 19.

Pistorius was arrested in the early hours of Valentine’s Day after he shot Miss Steenkamp, 29, through the door of the bathroom in the home they shared.

The sprinter, known as ‘Blade Runner’ thanks to his distinctive prosthetic limbs, has already admitted killing Miss Steenkamp by shooting her three times in his luxury Pretoria home.

However, he denies murder.

Instead he claims his killed his ‘beloved’ girlfriend by accident, firing through the locked toilet door while under the false impression that an intruder hid behind it.

An alleged love rival to Oscar Pistorius will testify against the fallen superstar in his upcoming murder trial, it has been disclosed.

Rugby player Francois Hougaard is included on a list of prosecution witnesses set to appear.

Hougaard, who as well as playing professional rugby also does modelling work, is a close friend and former boyfriend of Miss Steenkamp’s.

Unconfirmed reports have claimed that the 24-year-old exchanged text messages with the bikini model on the night she died. Hougaard refuses to comment.

Miss Steenkamp was holding her mobile phone when she was shot inside the toilet. Holiday: Pistorius pictured with former girlfriend Samantha Taylor, a marketing student and part-time model from Cape Town. The pair were filmed in the Seychelles for a South African television show last October

Trial: Also on the prosecution list is Pistorius’ ex girlfriend Samatha Taylor who prior to Reeva’s death said of his then new relationship: ‘Oscar has such a way with women. She’s probably not the only one he’s got. Oscar is certainly not what people think he is’


South Africa’s criminal prosecution service has charged Pistorius with ‘pre-meditated murder’ – a crime which attracts an automatic life prison sentence.

Despite the severity of the charge, however, Pistorius, who admits keeping a small arsenal of guns, has managed to remain out of jail while the case against him proceeds .

Under the terms of his bail he must live at his uncle Arnold’s house and can have no contact with any witnesses. He is permitted to train and even to travel abroad.

Pistorius has mostly kept out of the public eye since he secured bail. Media reported that in April he partied at a nightclub in a Johannesburg suburb after his bail conditions were relaxed the previous month.

The Pistorius camp said the matter was blown out of proportion and he went out for a quiet dinner with friends after spending weeks in the house with family.


The provisional list of witnesses lined up to give evidence against the limbless Paralympian was revealed by South Africa’s eNCA television news channel.

Also on the prosecution list, according to the channel, is Pistorius’ ex girlfriend Samatha Taylor – like Miss Steenkamp, a blonde model – who prior to Reeva’s death said of his then new relationship: ‘Oscar has such a way with women. She’s probably not the only one he’s got. Oscar is certainly not what people think he is.’

After Miss Steenkamp’s death, Miss Taylor’s mother wrote on Facebook: ‘I am so glad that Sammy is safe and sound and out of the clutches of that man – there were a few occasions where things could have gone wrong with her and his gun during the time they dated.’

Also on the witness list are a dozen of Pistorius’ neighbours from the high security Silver Woods housing estate where the incident took place.

South Africa’s prosecution has already revealed in court that some of these neighbours heard loud shouting coming from Pistorius’ home on the evening Reeva died.

Evidence, the prosecution say, that Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend argued bitterly before he shot her.

This weekend Oscar Pistorius’ family issued a press release in which they said that the athlete is seeking solace in his Christian faith.

His aunt, Lois, 55, said: ‘He rarely goes out. He reads a lot of stuff, newspapers, the Bible. He’s got a strong character and he’s exercising a lot.’

She also revealed that his finances have taken a hit, as his expensive lawyer’s legal fees and the loss of sponsorship deals make an impact.

‘He has lost a lot of sponsors but there will always be bread on the table’, she said.

The athlete’s coach Ampie Louw told the BBC: ‘Physically, he’s in good shape. Mentally he’s up and down. This is going to be a long road.’

Pistorius’ family yesterday said they will ‘support him every step of the way’ and ‘fully stand behind’ him.

The runner’s uncle Arnold Pistorius said the family was ‘shaken’ by pictures of the star’s bloody bathroom that emerged last week and which could jeopardise the trial.

‘We believe in him, love him and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead,’ he said.

‘We were shaken by the graphic images, leaked into the public domain this week, of the accident scene at Oscar’s house.

‘It has always been our plea that the legal process be allowed to run its course with integrity. The leaking of evidential material into the public domain before the court case does not advance this process.’

Miss Steenkamp’s parents Barry and June last night gave a television interview saying they were desperate to discover how their daughter died.

In the Channel 5 programme, Mrs Steenkamp said ‘there is only one person who knows what happened’ that night in February when her ‘terrified’ daughter was killed .

She spoke of the guilt she and her husband feel about not having ‘protected’ their daughter.

‘Why? Why did he shoot her? I want to know why he shot her. Because she must have been so afraid in the toilet, and somebody’s firing (a) gun, bullets through the door,’ she said.We feel bad that we couldn’t protect her. Her whole life we protected her. From the day she was born we protected her, but this we could not protect her from. Why couldn’t we protect her from this?

‘How did she end up with a person like this? Who could shoot her? I want to know. We don’t know what happened. There is only one person who knows what happened,’ she told the Channel 5 programme Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter?

Ms Steenkamp’s parents said their daughter told them of her arguments with Pistorius and how they had feared for her safety.

Recalling a phone call from her daughter who was travelling in a car that Pistorius was driving at speed, Mrs Steenkamp said: ‘She was afraid, she was so afraid. She phoned me and she said, “Mummy I’m in the car with Oscar and he’s driving like a lunatic.”‘

Mrs Steenkamp added: ‘A week or so later she phoned me, we chatted about this and that, little girl things. I said, “How’s it going with Oscar?” She said that “We’ve been fighting, we’ve been fighting a lot.”

‘She didn’t elaborate about what they’d been fighting about. She said, “We are fighting a lot.” That’s what she said.

‘I didn’t feel alarmed about that because men and women do fight, don’t they, it’s part of a relationship, but this is a very early relationship to be fighting.’

Ms Steenkamp’s parents also revealed unseen personal photographs and letters.

Among them was a picture painted by her as a teenager, depicting a gunman, an angel and a stairway to heaven which her parents described as a ‘premonition’.