Oscar Pistorius 'mistook his girlfriend for an intruder'

Oscar Pistorius appears in court
Oscar Pistorius appears in court Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South African Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius will spend a sixth night in custody after a bail hearing was adjourned.

Magistrate Desmond Nair has ruled the case was a schedule six offence - meaning premeditated murder.

During the hearing, the court heard how Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa last Thursday because he thought she was a burglar.

Pistorius' lawyer read out an affidavit on behalf of the gold-medal winner, known as the Blade Runner, which gave his version of the events that led to Ms Steenkamp's death.

The 26-year-old denied murder and said the couple were "deeply in love".

Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius said he was "absolutely mortified at the death of my beloved Reeva". Credit: Capacity Relations

Pistorius said the couple went to sleep shortly after 10pm on the 13 February, but in the middle of the night he woke up and thought an intruder had climbed in through his bathroom window.

He said he felt vulnerable because he was not wearing his prosthetic legs. He then claimed he fired his gun into the bathroom, but then realised Ms Steenkamp was not in his bed.

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Pistorius said he ran downstairs carrying his 29-year-old girlfriend, but "she died in my arms".

He went on: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I did not plan to murder my girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp."

Oscar Pistorius' family console each other during a break in proceeding
Oscar Pistorius' family console each other during a break in proceedings Credit: Reuters

At one point, when his statement was read out, Pistorius began crying uncontrollably and was told to "maintain your composure" in court.

His defence lawyer paused his reading, as the athlete was comforted by his brother Carl.

Oscar Pistorius' brother Carl comforts their sister Aimee in court
Oscar Pistorius' brother Carl comforts their sister Aimee in court Credit: Reuters

The prosecution alleges that Pistorius shot his girlfriend after an argument between the pair.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that at 3am Pistorius got up from his bed and repeatedly fired his gun through the closed toilet door.

"It was all part of the pre-planning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?", he said.

The court also heard statement from friends of both Pistorius and Ms Steenkamp before the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday morning.

As the hearing was taking place, Reeva Steenkamp was cremated at a memorial service attended by family and friends.

Six pallbearers carried her coffin, draped with a white cloth and covered in white flowers.

Reeva Steenkamp's casket arrives at funeral  Pallbearers carry the casket into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Reeva Steenkamp's casket arrives at funeral Pallbearers carry the casket into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Credit: Reuters

After the service, her brother, Adam Steenkamp, said: Everyone is sad, understandably, but at certain points we were smiling whilst remembering Reeva, because we only have good memories of her."

He went on: "There's a space missing inside all the people that she knew that cannot be filled again.

Reeva's uncle, Michael Steenkamp, broke down in tears as he spoke about his niece.

Read more: Emotional family tribute to Reeva after funeral