Pistorius case: Bloodied cricket bat found

PRETORIA - Newspapers report new details of the case citing ‘sources close to the investigation’, although police deny leaking information.

The mystery over South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius’s role in the killing of the model Reeva Steenkamp has deepened amid a series of claims and counter-claims about what happened at his home in Pretoria last week.

South African newspapers reported a series of details about the case, citing “sources close to the investigation”, although the police denied the information had come from them.

A police spokesperson could not explain how the claims had emerged but did not deny them. “We are not commenting on anything in the newspapers today as the case is still before the court,” she said yesterday. “They are insinuating they got the information from the police.”

Medupe Simasiku, of the national prosecuting authority, said the leaks did not necessarily affect the court case as “the evidence (published) might be wrong”.

South Africa’s well-respected City Press newspaper reported that a bloodied cricket bat found at Pistorius’s home was the central piece of evidence against him.

Citing sources close to the investigation, the paper said Steenkamp’s skull was crushed and police requested that Pistorius undergo drug tests.

City Press also reported that Pistorius called his father soon after 3.20am on Thursday and asked him to come to the house.

When the family arrived, Pistorius was allegedly carrying Steenkamp, who was wearing a nightdress, down the stairs.

The paper added that all sources had dismissed the theory that Pistorius mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

The Sunday Independent published an interview with an unnamed “friend” who claimed Pistorius called her in the early hours of Thursday morning.

When she arrived at Pistorius’s home, he was apparently carrying Steenkamp down the stairs.

The friend said she and Pistorius tried to help Steenkamp but she was pronounced dead by paramedics who arrived shortly afterwards.

eNews Channel Africa presented a narrative in which CCTV footage showed that Steenkamp arrived at the house at 6pm on Wednesday.

It said neighbours claimed they heard arguments, and investigators believed the couple were together in bed at one point.

It was thought that Steenkamp moved to the bathroom and was shot through the door, possibly at close range, the channel reported. Pistorius picked up her body and carried her downstairs.

He called a family member but not the police, who were alerted instead by neighbours.

Pistorius, who last year became the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the Olympics, remains in custody after being charged with murder.

He is due to apply for bail at a court hearing in Pretoria tomorrow, the same day that Steenkamp is set to be cremated at a private service.

Her father, Barry Steenkamp, told Britain’s Mail on Sunday that the family was struggling to come to terms with the death, but added: “There is no hatred in our hearts.”

He said of Pistorius: “He must be going through things that we don’t know about. We ask the Lord every day to help us find a reason why this should happen to Reeva. She was the most beautiful, kind girl in the world.” — The Guardian

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