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Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius has started his first day of evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.
He arrived at 8.49am on Monday dressed in a light coloured sports jacket and a blue shirt.
The Olympian stared ahead of him, talking on his phone while media swarmed his car and photographers tried to get a better shot of him through the tinted windows of the black Chevrolet in which he was a passenger.
The vehicle, driven by a young family member, was whisked through the gates within seconds of arriving at Weskoppies.
Several members of the police were on the scene to keep a watchful eye, especially as the media contingent grew from early in the morning.
The first to arrive was the investigating officer in Pistorius’s murder trial, Captain Mike van Aard, who entered the gates about half an hour before Pistorius.
It is not clear why he was at there, but it is believed that he wanted to ensure that Pistorius did adhere to the court order issued by North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa.
The judge earlier referred Pistorius for mental observation to Weskoppies Hospital for a time not exceeding 30 days. In terms of her ruling, Pistorius had to report at 9am and remain there until 4pm or until the medical superintendent excused him.
He is due to undergo a battery of tests over the next few weeks to try and establish his frame of mind when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.
He will be evaluated by a panel of four experts – three psychiatrists an a clinical psychologist.
They will bring out a report on whether he suffered from any mental illness resulting in him having diminished criminal responsibility for his actions when he shot Steenkamp.
The judge ordered that a copy of the report had to be served on the registrar of the court, on the defence and on the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Pistorius will attend Weskoppies as an outpatient following an application by the prosecution that he be referred.
This followed the evidence of his psychiatrist, Dr Merryl Vorster, who was called to the stand on behalf of the defence. She testified that he suffered from general anxiety disorder, which, coupled with psychological issues surrounding his disability, may have played a role in the killing.
The defence opposed the application but the judge said it needed all the facts before it before coming to a verdict.