NPA says `futile` to oppose live broadcast of Pistorius’ trial

Johannesburg, Feb 20: The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa has opposed the spending of money against a court application for live broadcasts of the murder trial of Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, and has labelled it as ‘futile’.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard an application by print media houses, eNCA, MultiChoice and Eyewitness News to broadcast the trial, which starts on March 3.

According to Sport24, a spokesman for the NPA said that although the body initially had fears when eNCA sought to broadcast the proceedings, however, the concerns were allayed by additional provisions brought by MultiChoice.

The spokesman mentioned that MultiChoice addressed the concerns of intimidation of the witnesses and unnecessary exposure with their technology, adding that it does not make ‘good sense’ to use taxpayers’ money to oppose the application of a person that they are charging.

Responding to claims that Pistorius’ murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp’s parents were opposed to the bid to broadcast the court proceedings, the spokesman said the NPA’s decision was in the interests of justice, adding that the public stands to benefit more by watching these proceedings broadcast if the court grants the order.

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming trial would be launched a day before the star athlete goes on trial, adding that the broadcasters proposed permission to use unmanned, remote-controlled high-definition cameras which would feed to all broadcasters, if the application was successful.

Pistorius is accused of killing Steenkamp in February last year and his trial is to be heard in Pretoria from March 3-20, the report added. (ANI)