From the news desk

Strong security for Oscar proceedings

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There was a strong security presence at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, ahead of day two in the sentencing procedures of culpable homicide-convicted Oscar Pistorius.

Local and international media set up about 10 ladders along the entrance of the court as they waited for the athlete’s arrival.

Shortly before 8am the activity outside court started picking up as more media arrived. A generator was set up close to the court’s entrance where TV reporters were doing live crossings.

Tshwane metro police cordoned off a lane of Madiba street in front of the court.

At the entrance to the court room four security guards in fluorescent vests gathered around the bag scanner. Ten other guards were in the passage.

On September 12, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria townhouse. The court found him not guilty of murder.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

On Monday, Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry were in court as the defence called three witnesses — the athlete’s psychologist Lore Hartzenberg, his manager Petrus Van Zyl and correctional services department social worker Mashaba Joel Maringa.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked for a postponement to go over documents handed in by Van Zyl before he cross-examined him.

The manager told the court on Monday about Pistorius’s planned retirement in 2017, before the shooting, and his involvement with various charities.

On Tuesday morning, media gathered at the entrance as they waited for Pistorius, his family and Steenkamp’s family and friends.

School children, dressed in uniform walked past, and some stopped to look at the cameras before walking on.

Pistorius was found guilty of firing a pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013 and not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012. SAPA


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