'Blade Runner' held for girlfriend's murder
South African “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged with shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day.
Police said they had registered a murder case after a 30-year-old woman was found dead at the track star’s house in the upmarket Silverlakes gated complex on the outskirts of the capital.
Pistorius is a national icon in South Africa after his sporting exploits. He won multiple gold medals at the Paralympics in Beijing and London and became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic Games when he ran the 400M and 4x400M relay in London last year.
The 26-year-old and his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a model by profession, had been the only people in the house at the time of the shooting, police brigadier Denise Beukes said, adding that it happened in the early hours of the morning.
Steenkamp, a regular on the South African party circuit, was reported to have been dating Pistorius for a year, and there had been little to suggest their relationship was in trouble.
In the social pages of last weekend's Sunday Independent she described him as having “impeccable” taste.
“His gifts are always thoughtful,” she was quoted as saying. Some of her last Twitter postings indicated she was looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day on Thursday with him.
“What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???” she posted.
Earlier, police said a 9mm pistol had been found at the scene. Pistorius was taken for a medical examination and is due to appear in a Pretoria court on Friday. Before the murder charge was announced, Johannesburg’s Talk Radio 702 said the Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.