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Pretoria - There was tight security inside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court where paralympian Oscar Pistorius would appear on Monday.
The police's explosives teams carried out a precautionary sweep to check for explosives .
Twelve police officers and six security guards were stationed inside the court room, where media and Pistorius family members had gathered.
It would have been his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's 30th birthday on Monday.
Reporters were asked to temporarily leave the court where earlier, video cameras were being set up.
Security had assisted media with more chairs.
Local and international media gathered outside the court.
Television crews lined the pavement across the road from the court's entrance and reporters and photographers waited at the entrance to be allowed inside.
Others waited at the back entrance to the court.
Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder after the model and law graduate was shot dead in his Pretoria home on February 14.
Inside the courtroom journalists started taking their seats with many sitting on the floor in front.
Pistorius's brother Carl Pistorius was seen carrying the access tags that would allow his family inside.
The first two rows of the public gallery on one side was reserved for the Pistorius family while the first row of the other side was reserved for the Steenkamp family. Pistorius was expected to learn at his appearance on Monday what all his formal charges are.
The Myers family were also seen in court. This was the family Steenkamp lived with when she was living in Johannesburg.
Their daughter Gina Myers was Steenkamp's best friend.
The State was expected to serve the double amputee with an indictment, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Friday.
“We also expect to have the trial starting early 2014, but we cannot at this stage confirm the exact date because this has to be agreed upon in court by all parties concerned,” spokesman Medupe Simasiku said.
“It will therefore be inappropriate for the NPA to comment about the charges beforehand.” During a subsequent bail hearing, Pistorius's defence read out a statement in which Pistorius said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.
The court session was expected to start at 9am. - Sapa
*This article was edited at 9am on 19 August, 2013.