Media houses will use technologically advanced equipment to record Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.
Frank Snyckers SC, for MultiChoice and Eyewitness News, submitted that the equipment was not obtrusive and was controlled remotely.
He said the media houses had secured the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) support.
“The world’s eye will be on the criminal justice system, as it has been. Principles of open justice and right to freedom of expression are part of the right to a fair trial,” he said.
“In fact, the trial judge can be given the means to deactivate the recording.”
Pistorius is accused of killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February last year. His trial is expected to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria from March 3 to 20.
Snyckers told the court that if granted permission to film the proceedings, MultiChoice would broadcast the full trial unedited. He said however “unconsenting witnesses” would not be filmed.
The application to film the proceedings was brought by news channel eNCA. It was joined in the application by MultiChoice and Eyewitness News. A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the upcoming trial would be launched on DSTV on March 2, a day before the former star athlete goes on trial.
MultiChoice and EWN said it was proposing to use unmanned, remote-controlled high-definition cameras which would provide feed to all broadcasters.
The NPA on Tuesday said it would not oppose the application. However, NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said it did have a number of conditions. He would not say at the time what these were.
Pistorius’s legal team is expected to oppose the media’s application.