South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius sobbed and appeared grim-faced Friday in a Pretoria court after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The judge refused to allow cameras in the court except when Pistorius walked in, and ordered proceedings delayed until Tuesday.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said he was charging Pistorius with premeditated murder. Some Websites took to calling the "Blade Runner" the "Blade Gunner."
Pistorius was silent in court. “The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms," said a statement from the Pistorius family and his representative, In-Site Athlete Management, according to South Africa News 24. The statement offered no details.
South African media said its “Golden Boy” had already begun to lose endorsements around the world that had made him a millionaire.
Local police opposed bail for Pistorius, South Africa News 24 said. Pistorius claims that he mistook Steenkamp, a model and television personality, for a burglar and shot her.
Some reports said Steenkamp had attempted to wake the athlete as a surprise for Valentine’s Day. SA News 24 reported that hours before her death Steenkamp had tweeted: "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???"
Police spokeswoman Brig. Denise Buekes said, “I confirm there had been previous incidents of a domestic nature at his place but this will form part of the investigation.”
The South African Broadcasting Corp. reported: “Police did confirm they have spoken to witnesses this morning, who they allege either heard the shots this morning, and heard what the police described as incidents of a domestic nature earlier in the evening.”
Beukes also said police were surprised to learn the double amputee was claiming he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar. He shot her four times in his upscale Silverwood Estates home.
Pistorius, 26, who has double below-knee amputations, became the first athlete to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics during the London games in 2012. The International Association Athletics Federations rejected claims his special prosthetics, called “Flex Foot Cheetahs,” gave him an advantage over other athletes.
The Foot Cheetah is “made from carbon and unlike all previous foot prostheses, it stores kinetic energy from the wearer's steps as potential energy, like a spring, allowing the wearer to run and jump.
“Carbon fiber is actually a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer and is a strong, light-weight material used in a number of applications, including sporting goods like baseball bats, car parts, helmets, sailboats, bicycles and other equipment where rigidity and high strength-to-weight ratio is important,” according to Wikipedia.
Pistorius became known as “Blade Runner,” throughout the world because of his seemingly other worldly talents. Harrison Ford played a “Blade Runner” in the film, a special police operative assigned to track down robot replicants.
Although he won numerous gold and silver medals in the Paralympics, Pistorius was not selected for the South African team that competed in the finals in the Olympics 400-meter relay.
Steenkamp, 29, was to appear this weekend on South African television reality show “Tropika Island of Treasure 5.” She was a law school graduate and the face of Avon in South Africa.
The incident has already led to calls to make sure justice is done. The New Yorker said it shouldn’t be allowed to become another O.J. Simpson case. South African media also said the fact Pistorius is a national hero, even carried the South African flag at the Olympics, should not prevent the courts and police from doing the right thing.