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Pretoria - While public interest in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial is waning inside court, a group of people chased after the “Blade Runner” from the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, as he made his way to his advocate’s chambers up the road.
Some muttered “it is a tragic story” – referring to the events of February 14 last year when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp – but others seemed to have no idea who he is. Some took pictures of him on their cellphones and tried to touch him, happy that he was some kind of a celebrity.
Pistorius, with a policeman close by, looked straight ahead and ignored the crowd as he walked on.
The lengthy trial – that started on March 3 – seems to have taken its toll on the athlete, 27. He appears to be under a lot of stress. Often during testimony of defence witnesses, he sits with his head in his hands.
He seemed emotional on Tuesday as his manager, Peet van Zyl, testified about the plans they had made to take Steenkamp with them when he competed in Brazil in March last year and later that year.
A solemn-looking Pistorius wiped his nose and eyes and his sister Aimee Pistorius went to sit next to him in the dock during the tea break. She gave him a kiss on the cheek before returning to the public gallery.
Pistorius also seemed to be always conscious of the cameras on him inside court and during breaks, especially when he consults with his legal team. He ensures that his back is turned to the camera closest to him or warns his team to be alert of it before discussing issues with him.
June Steenkamp, who has attended the trial every day since the defence witnesses started testifying, on Tuesday listened to Van Zyl detailing the plans for her daughter to accompany Pistorius abroad.
She is still being accompanied by ANC Women’s League members.
Some weeks ago, Pistorius nodded a greeting at her as he walked past, but now they ignore each other.
It is understood the defence will call another three or four witnesses, before closing its case.
Judge Thokozile Masipa will then adjourn proceedings to enable the defence and prosecution to prepare final arguments before judgment.