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Oscar Pistorius granted bail in Reeva Steenkamp murder investigation
Updated 2:33pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
OSCAR Pistorius has been granted bail.
The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter will not be held in custody now ahead of a possible trial for murder.
He is accused of murder his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their home in the early hours of Valentine's Day.
He has admitted shooting the model, 29, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars, who were in the bathroom.
He adds that he opened fire in the dark because he was too scared to turn a light on.
Realising his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs, he said.
In an affidavit, Pistorius said he and Miss Steenkamp were in love and he thought she was in bed in the early hours of last Thursday when he got up in the dark and blasted through the door.
The case has stunned sports fans worldwide.
But it has been felt most acutely in South Africa, where Pistorius was seen as a hero who transcended racial divides that persist nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid.
He carried South Africa's flag at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, and American magazine Sports Illustrated named him as one of the most inspiring figures of the year.
The sprinter's endorsements and sponsorships included Nike, telecoms firm BT, sunglasses maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler and were thought to be worth as much as two million US dollars (£1.3 million) a year.
Nike and Mugler both said they have dropped Pistorius from advertising campaigns, and Clarins cosmetics giant said it was recalling its A Man perfume range out of ''respect and compassion towards the families involved''.