Oscar Pistorius was seen visibly sobbing in court as the decision was made, and his family held an impromptu prayer meeting as the court went to a five-minute recess following the decision.
I was stunned from the very beginning, when this story first started breaking. I haven’t leapt to conclusions like many have so far because, as always, forensics will determine what happened – we would hope. But Oscar’s story already has some inconsistencies.
The court has heard that Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs, and walked seven metres before firing shots through the bathroom door. It is reported that Reeva had locked herself in the bathroom, after a row with the athlete.
Oscar’s story was that he shot from the floor. Forensics appears to disagree with that, saying the trajectory of the bullet is wrong.
Pistorius’ defence lawyers must now show ‘exceptional circumstances’ in order to get bail granted, until the case is seen in the high court later in the year.
There seems to be evidence that he has offshore accounts and was beginning to mobilise them. As far as I understand, South Africa does not have the same diplomatic relationships with European countries as the likes of Great Britain, thus making the guaranteed return of Pistorius, if he fled, less certain.
There were shells found inside and outside the bathroom. Two mobile phones in the bathroom had not been used to call the emergency services.
I have to say this feels a bit odd to me. Surely if you thought there was an intruder, you would first call out for your beloved, then call the police? He seems to have done neither.
Then there is the whole argument over steroids. Are they, or are they not? It seems very uncertain right now. If they are, why were his regular drugs tests not finding this?
I must admit, I am gravely sad at what is unfolding in South Africa. Pistorius has come a long way in the fight to equalise disability sport. I interviewed him in 2011, and he was a very focussed, determined athlete who said ‘I believe we are more able than disabled’. He had become the role model for millions of athletes, both able-bodied as well as disabled.
With the most recent news coming out of South Africa that the lead detective is now suspended and on attempted murder charges of his own, I sincerely hope the truth is uncovered in the trial, that the media keep out of it and justice is served, whatever that may turn out to be.