South Africa has been stunned by the arrest and prosecution for murder of the country’s star Olympian, Oscar Pistorius. The athlete has appeared in court, accused of shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Front page coverage in the newspapers buried President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address to the inside pages.
“Deadly Valentine”, “Blade Gunner?” and “Golden Boy Loses Shine” were among many inventive headlines.
Pistorius is a hero in the country for his triumph over adversity in competing at the highest level in sport.
No-one knows the facts of the case for sure, but plenty, in shock, are voicing their opinions.
“He is not capable to do such a thing. If he did, I don’t know what might be, but I’m so sad, really, because he is my inspiration. I’m extremely disappointed the way things happened,” said Zweli Thusi in Johannesburg.
“I was born and raised in Johannesburg, which is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world and I can say for sure: you would know if it was a burglar, at 4 o’clock in the morning in a high security estate, there is no chance it was a burglar. So, that whole story doesn’t fly with me,” said another Johannesburg resident, John Bentel.
“A good guy”; he was “kind to everyone”… such comments are typical of dismayed callers to radio talk shows.
Pistorius, a double amputee, competed with able-bodied athletes at the London Olympics last year while also winning two gold medals in the Paralympics.
His fame brought in sponsorship deals reckoned to be worth as much as three million euros. Sportswear giant Nike said they would not make any decisions until the police investigation is completed.