Oscar Pistorius breaks down during his court appearance in
Pretoria. REUTERS/Antonie de Ras
Police found a bloodied cricket bat at the home of South
African sprinter Oscar Pistorius whose girlfriend was shot dead
on Valentine's Day, it has been reported.
South Africa's City Press newspaper says
the bat is central to the police case against Pistorious, who
was charged with murder after Reeva Steenkamp was shot four
times at his home.
The newspaper says Steenkamp's skull was "crushed" and tests
are expected to reveal whose blood is on the bat. The
newspaper also said police requested that Pistorius, a double
amputee known as the Blade Runner, undergo drug tests.
Pistorius's family have denied the murder charge. Initial
reports said that he may have mistaken Steenkamp for an
intruder have been dismissed by police.
In another development, the airing of a Caribbean reality TV
show featuring the Steenkamp after she was shot dead has
upset some South Africans.
In particular, women's rights activists criticised an edited
clip at the start of Saturday night's 'Tropika Island of
Treasure' in which law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp
talks about her "exit".
"I think that the way you go out, not just your journey in
life but the way that you go out and you make your exit is so
important," she says, leaning against a palm tree in a
pre-recorded interview on the show's set in Jamaica.
At the end of the tribute, presumably recorded when she was
voted off the show, she blows kisses to the camera and says:
"I'm going to miss you all so much. I love you very, very
Rachel Jewkes, a gender and health researcher at the South
African Medical Research Council (MRC), said the clips were
particularly insensitive in a country where a woman is
estimated to be killed by her partner every eight hours.
"There was a big question about whether it should have been
shown at all, or whether they were trying to get audience
ratings off the fact she had died," Jewkes said.
"These sort of quotes don't make you feel any better about
the suggestion they are exploiting her death."
Show producer Samantha Moon said the decision to air the
programme on Saturday as scheduled was difficult but
ultimately she wanted to share the "special memories" of
"Reeva was an intelligent, beautiful and amazing woman, and
we feel it would be an injustice to keep that unknown from
those who did not know her personally," Moon said.
Steenkamp, who was shot in the head, hand, chest and hip,
according to domestic media reports, will be buried on
Tuesday (local time).
Many South Africans thought the decision not to delay the
show until after the funeral was wrong.
"It was very insensitive to put it on air before she was even
buried," said 30-year-old insurance consultant Montle Ndlovu.
"It's such a sad story. She was young and pretty and had her
whole life in front of her."
The downfall of Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in
the Olympics, has sent shockwaves through South Africa, where
many saw him as a rare example of a hero who transcended the
racial divides that linger in Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow
But the killing of Steenkamp has once again put a harsh
spotlight on South Africa's frighteningly high levels of
violence against women.
The country is still reeling from the murder this month of
17-year-old Anene Booysen, who was gang-raped, mutilated and
left for dead on a building site.
Although sexual crime is all too common - on average a woman
is raped every four minutes - the similarities to the murder
of a New Delhi woman that triggered protests in India gave
birth to an "Enough is Enough" campaign to halt the violence
against women endemic in South African society.
The ruling African National Congress' Women's League called
for the courts to deny bail to Pistorius to show the
government was serious about stopping gender-based violence.
"Pistorius must be treated like any other person accused of
such crimes and no special circumstances should be considered
based on his celebrity status," the League said.
Pistorius is being held in a Pretoria police station until
his bail hearing resumes on Tuesday. His family said on
Saturday Pistorius was numb with grief and shock, and a
pastor who visited him on Sunday said he was still
"The Holy Spirit gave me an order that this is now the chance
to go pray with Oscar," pastor AJ Wilson told Reuters
Television outside the police station.
"The (police) colonel told him that I have come to pray with
him. He just cried and we all cried together."