Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has left court after a judge told him he will go on trial in March over the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius returned to court this morning for the short hearing, in which a judge set his trial date for March 3 next year.

The judge asked him if he was well, to which he replied: “Under the circumstances, your honour.”

He was formally charged, and told that his bail conditions remained the same.

Sky’s Alex Crawford said that a “very emotional” Pistorius appeared to be praying with his brother and sister before the proceedings started.

The three siblings held hands in a small circle, and at one point Pistorius wiped his face with a tissue.

The 26-year-old double amputee is accused of killing Ms Steenkamp, who would have turned 30 today, in a shooting incident at Pistorius’ home in February.

Reeva Steenkamp
Ms Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius’ home in February

Pistorius denies he committed murder and says he shot Ms Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

The case was sent to the High Court in Pretoria.

A judge will preside over the trial and ultimately pronounce the world-famous athlete innocent or guilty. South Africa does not have trial by jury.

The mandatory sentence for someone convicted of premeditated murder in South Africa is life with a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Ms Steenkamp’s uncle has said he has already forgiven Pistorius for killing her.

Mike Steenkamp said the family have coped with her death by concentrating on her life rather than how she died.

In an interview on ITV’s Daybreak, Mr Steenkamp said: “I think from the beginning and onset that we decided that we could never be sidetracked from Reeva’s life, and I think that’s helped us tremendously.”

source: skynews