All systems go for Pistorius judgment

The justice dept says every measure has been put in place to ensure judgment is delivered without delay.

Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court on 8 August, 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development says every measure has been put in place to ensure judgment in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial is delivered without delay or interruption.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is scheduled to deliver her ruling on Thursday, six months after the trial started.

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

He has argued that it was an accident, after mistaking her for an intruder. But the state believes he killed her in a fit of rage following an argument.

The athlete also faces three separate charges, including two counts of discharging firearms in public and possession of illegal ammunition, all of which he denies.

With a scheduled picket in the street outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, hundreds of journalists trying to get inside the building and supporters expected in their numbers, Pistorius's judgment day will present a significant challenge for authorities.

But the department's Mthunzi Mhaga says everything is under control.

"It's all systems go from a logistical point of view and we're working closely with law enforcement officers."

Steenkamp's uncles and aunts are expected in court for judgment to support her parents Barry and June.

Pistorius broke down frequently during the trial, often sobbing and vomiting into a bucket.

Steenkamp's dramatic death has shattered the image of Pistorius as an embodiment of triumph over adversity for both his Paralympic victories and his success against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.

For more on the trial, click here, or visit the live Oscar Pistorius blog, click here.