Oscar Pistorius.  Picture: REUTERS
Oscar Pistorius. Picture: REUTERS

NIKE South Africa says it will not yet withdraw its support for Paralympic icon Oscar Pistorius, alleged to have shot dead his girlfriend.

"This is a very unfortunate story and it is still under investigation. We’ll not make any decision until we hear from Oscar or his agent," Nike SA spokeswoman Seruscka Naidoo said.

Mr Pistorius was expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon after a case of murder was opened.

Police spokeswoman Lt-Col Katlego Mogale confirmed a 9mm pistol had been found at the scene on Thursday morning and a 26-year-old man was taken into custody.

Police do not identify suspects until they are charged in court.

The woman was identified as model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, 30. Shiri Reouveni, of Steenkamp’s PR agency, said they had been told it was Steenkamp who had been shot, but did not want to say more. Steenkamp was reported to have been dating Mr Pistorius for a year.

"There are witnesses and they have been interviewed this morning. We are talking about neighbours and people that heard things earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place," Brig Denise Beukes told reporters outside the Silver Woods Country Estate complex in Pretoria where Mr Pistorius lived.

"At this stage he is on his way to a district surgeon for medical examination and will be appearing at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court at 2pm this afternoon."

Peet van Zyl, MD of In-site Sports Management, Mr Pistorius’s management team, said the incident was "very unfortunate", adding that In-site would issue a statement in due course.

Mr Pistorius, a Paralympic gold-medal-winning sprinter who also competed at the London 2012 Olympics, is also sponsored by British Telecoms (BT) and eyewear brand Oakley, among others. A spokesman for BT said: "Clearly we are shocked. At this point we cant say much as the investigation is still under way."

With Reuters and Sapa