Ample access for Oscar’s lawyers

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Oscar Pistorius

Pretoria - The legal team of murder accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius has access to him beyond Brooklyn police station's set visiting hours, his lawyer Kenny Oldwadge said on Monday.

“We have access to him at all times,” he said in a telephone interview.

The visiting hours at the police station, where Pistorius was kept since his first court appearance on Friday, are 3pm to 4pm. However, Oldwadge said the legal team had seen Pistorius outside the set times, for consultation.

A large media contingent kept watch outside the police station in Pretoria on Monday for people visiting Pistorius.

Close to 20 journalists from local and international media houses tried to catch a glimpse of Pistorius' relatives before his bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

United States television station NBC stored its equipment under gazebos opposite the building overnight and hired a security guard to keep watch.

Its journalists were seen setting up their equipment shortly before noon.

Sky News journalist Alex Crawford said the news of Pistorius' arrest had been widely reported in Britain.

“He is about the only Olympic person they (Brits) know that isn't British apart from Usain Bolt,” she said. “They are totally shocked.”

Motorists passing the police station slowed down to look at the media. One man shouted “Oscar” from his car as he drove by.

Pistorius, 26, who is accused of murdering his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, was arrested shortly after the fatal shooting at his Pretoria home early on Thursday morning.

He has since been charged with Steenkamp's murder and is expected to bring a formal bail application when he makes his second court appearance on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Steenkamp's family said her body was back in her coastal hometown of Port Elizabeth. A private funeral was scheduled to be held on Tuesday.

Steenkamp was seen laughing and smiling on South African television on Saturday night when the SABC aired the first episode of a reality television show in which she was featured.

Her family said it did not oppose the broadcast because Steenkamp had wanted people to see it. A tribute to her was shown before the episode.

A fellow-contestant on the “Tropika Island of Treasure 5” show told AP Television News that Steenkamp “was always making sure everyone was OK”.

“Fun, crazy, loving, beautiful, gorgeous. She really was an angel and I still haven't come to terms with what happened,” said Katleho Molai.

“I haven't really eaten, I'm struggling to sleep. So it's been really hard to come to terms with what's happened to her,” Molai said. - Sapa


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