Wednesday, February 19, 2014

South Africa and the world will hear on Tuesday 25 February whether the Oscar Pistorius murder trial will be televised.

South African viewers and media bosses will find out on this coming Tuesday, 25 February at 11:00 whether they will see - and be able to broadcast - the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

The Paralympic athlete who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day is in the dock on a charge of premeditated murder.

His looming murder trial which will start on 3 March in the Pretoria High Court will likely be a media frenzy and an onlooker spectacle the likes of which South Africa has never seen before - regardless of whether the right to see it on television and hear it on radio is granted or not.

Oscar Pistorius is a public figure and gladly took money from sponsors and advertisers and fueled interest in himself as a person by willingly appearing on television, on radio, on magazine covers and inside and newspapers.

Once public interest is turned on, it cannot be selectively wished away and be erased.

Oscar Pistorius sold his privacy for millions every time he freely decided to appear in a commercial, be interviewed on CNN International seen globally inside his place where he eventually shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp later.

MutliChoice will run a special Oscar Pistorius Trial TV channel on channel 199 from 2 March regardless of whether or not broadcasting rights to show the murder trial is granted or not. If Dstv can't show the trial, it will show documentaries.

Likewise newspapers and magazines and radio will continue with the special issues, special cover stories, analysis pieces, commentaries, photos and heavy coverage - globally - as has been and remains the case.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo will on Tuesday say whether eNCA, MultiChoice, Primedia who brought an application today (who as well as others) have the right to broadcast the trial.

Oscar Pistorius' legal team is opposed to any broadcast and wants the court to ban recording and broadcasting of witness testimony.