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Court to rule on televising Pistorius trial

The paralympian will go on trial in the North Gauteng High Court on 3 March.

Oscar Pistorius will go on trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on 3 March. Picture: Christa van der Walt/ EWN.

PRETORIA - The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will today rule on an application by several media houses to televise the Oscar Pistorius trial, which starts on Monday.

MultiChoice and Eyewitness News were among several media houses which approached the court last week.

The media houses have asked the court to allow them to televise the opening and closing addresses, all judgment and expert witness testimony.

Witnesses who do not consent to being televised live will not be.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo will have to weigh up the rights to freedom of expression and the media against the concerns raised by Pistorius's counsel that he won't have a fair trial if it is televised.

Advocate Barry Roux, who is defending Pistorius, argued state witnesses and experts have indicated that a live broadcast of the trial would inhibit them during testimony.

He added that knowledge that a witness is being heard all over the world affects how they answer questions.

But Advocate Frank Snyckers says the parties will use remarkable and revolutionary camera technology, with unobtrusive spy cameras mounted in the court room.

Snyckers also made the point that this application was unique, in that the National Prosecuting Authority had given the broadcasters its blessing.

Pistorius shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury Pretoria-East home on Valentine's Day last year.

While he insists it was a case of mistaken identity, saying he believed Steenkamp was an intruder, the state will argue it was premeditated murder.

The trial starts on 3 March and has been set down for three weeks.

To read the full press release, click here.

PARKING DURING THE TRIAL

The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality has prepared itself for the influx of media to the court from Monday.

Parking in the Pretoria CBD is already a challenge for residents which makes the prospect of hundreds of reporters from around the world descending on the High Court in Madiba Street daunting.

Tshwane municipality spokesman Blessing Manale says parking is being made available on the north side of the street in front of the courthouse as well as in Palace Street leading to Church Square.

Manale says provision will also be made for outside broadcasting vans.

He urged motorists to try and avoid the area and appealed to people to follow the instructions of the dozens of metro police who will be deployed to manage traffic.

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