The track star’s arrest in the killing of Steenkamp shocked South Africa, where Pistorius was a national hero and icon dubbed the Blade Runner for his high-tech carbon fiber running blades and revered for overcoming his disability to compete at the London Olympics.
Steenkamp was discovered in a pool of blood before dawn Thursday by police called to Pistorius’ upscale home in a gated community. Authorities said she had been shot four times, and a 9 mm pistol also was recovered at the home.
Pistorius remains held at a police station pending a bail hearing Tuesday. Police already have said they’ll oppose Pistorius being released before trial. A premeditated murder charge also makes it more difficult for his defense team to get bail.
There will be a variety of hearings before Pistorius, 26, could go on trial. In South Africa, there are no juries, so a judge ultimately would decide Pistorius’ guilt or innocence, sometimes with the help of two advisers. At an initial hearing Friday, Pistorius sobbed and held his head in his hands at times. He has yet to enter a plea in the case.
Since news of the killing, shock waves have rippled across South Africa, a nation of 50 million where nearly 50 people are killed each day, one of the world’s highest murder rates. U.N. statistics say the nation has the second highest rate of shooting deaths in the world, behind only Colombia.
The South African Broadcasting Corp. aired the “Tropika Island of Treasure” program, showing Steenkamp in a final role. She was seen laughing, smiling and blowing a kiss toward the camera in Jamaica when it was filmed last year. SABC said the show was dedicated to Steenkamp and displayed the words “Reeva Steenkamp 19 August 1983 – 14 February 2013” between images of a rose and a candle in a short tribute before the show aired.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.