Oscar awaits details of observation order

Crime & Courts

Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius will on Tuesday learn the details of the order granted that he be sent for mental observation after the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard he had general anxiety disorder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to hand down a specific order, including details of whether or not the athlete would be an out-patient, where he would be admitted and the number of psychologists and psychiatrists that would be treating him.

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Oscar Pistorius weeps in the dock during his trial at the High Court in Pretoria. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Last Wednesday, Masipa granted the State's application that he be sent for mental observation after the court heard he had general anxiety disorder.

Masipa said she was aware this would cause more delays, but said it was not about convenience but whether justice was served.

Last Monday, forensic psychiatrist Merryll Vorster told the court that Pistorius had general anxiety disorder. Based on this, the State applied to have him referred.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said it was necessary to send Pistorius for evaluation in case the disorder might have affected his behaviour on February 14 last year, when he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius is charged with murdering Steenkamp. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet at his Pretoria home.

Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

He is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges as well. - Sapa

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