Pistorius court appearance delayed until tomorrow

Oscar Pistorius’ first appearance before a Pretoria court on a murder charge has been delayed until 7am Irish time tomorrow, local police have said.

Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius was earlier charged with murder following the death of his 30-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp this morning.

He was scheduled to appear in a Pretoria court at 2pm local time (noon Irish time).

Dressed in a grey hooded jacket, tracksuit trousers and trainers, Pistorius walked with head bowed from the Boschkop police station this morning, before he was taken to Pretoria's Mamelodi Day Hospital in a police convoy.

Gauteng police said an application for bail by Pistorius' lawyer, Kenny Oldwage, would be opposed when he appears in court.

Brigadier Beukes said: “We are at this stage, as the SA Police Service, not able to disclose why are we opposing the bail.”

Police said his medical examination was “standard procedure”.

“They [hospital staff] test under the nails, they look for scratches, bruises, and blood is taken for alcohol and drug screening,” Brigadier Beukes added.

Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale, said police were called to the house in the Silver Lakes district at around 3am local time (1am Irish time). The call came from a neighbour.

A 9mm pistol was recovered and the woman’s body was removed from the scene.

Pistorius was arrested at the scene as investigations began.

Forensic detectives were collecting evidence from the scene this afternoon.

A spokesman for the athlete, from the Fast Track agency in London, said he was “assisting the police with their investigations” but that no further comment could be made until matters became clearer.

Outside his home, Miss Steenkamp’s friend Mashadi Motsogi broke down in tears.

The distressed model said she heard the news of Miss Steenkamp’s death on Twitter.

She told the South African Press Association: “It was only on my way to campus when I saw journalists come in front of the estate, when I realised that it might be true, that she might be dead. I know Oscar stays here.

“When I called here, he did not reply. He did not answer my call.”

She described Miss Steenkamp as a “friendly person, always willing to help other people” and said she looked to the model for advice.

“I have lost a friend,” she said, telling reporters Miss Steenkamp’s death in a secure complex did not make sense.

“Look, security here is safe. We moved to this area for security reasons. It does not make sense to me that my friend was shot, mistaken for an intruder.”

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