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Pistorius lived in elite, gated, alternate South Africa

Oscar Pistorius, who killed his girlfriend last week, was granted $113,000 bail today but told he can't live in his posh Silver Woods estate ahead of a June 4 trial date. 

Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, in court Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, for his bail hearing charged with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.


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Life in urban South Africa is so synonymous with crime and fear that a 90-acre gated community like Silver Woods Country Estate can seem like a paradise. Sprawling and secure compound living is prized as a crime-free, alternate version of South Africa.

Silver Woods, as it is known, located in a suburb east of Pretoria, is where Oscar Pistorius resided, and where, on Valentine’s Day, the sports and cultural icon shot and killed his girlfriend in a bathroom off their bedroom. The compound wasn't as safe from crime, it seems, as Mr. Pistorius might have thought.

The case of the gun-wielding double-amputee known as the “Blade Runner,” who made history in the recent London Olympics by sprinting on fiber carbon struts instead of legs, has brought a focus to the elite Afrikaner world of the rich and famous that Pistorius inhabited, a world not far from violence yet lived in comfort. 

Today a South African court granted bail to Pistorius at $113,000, saying his fame meant he was not a flight risk. The court said his trial would commence in early June. Family members of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend and victim, were in court for the first time today.


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