Andrew Harding, Africa correspondent

Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

This is the home of my reports, updates and analysis from across the world’s liveliest continent

Andrew added analysis to:

Oscar Pistorius trial sees Reeva Steenkamp Valentine's card

15 April 2014

It has been exhausting just to watch Oscar Pistorius - doubled up on the ropes for hour after hour, heavy arms trying to fend off another clinical combination of lethal jabs and low blows from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

As the athlete finally slinks wearily back across the court from the witness stand to the dock, he must know that the last five days have done him few favours in this trial.

He has been forgetful, evasive, agitated, uncertain, argumentative, and defiantly - some would say deliberately - ambiguous about some of the key issues at the heart of this murder trial. However well his forensic experts proceed to shore up his testimony in the coming days, his credibility has been damaged.

I have been fending off emails from members of the public anxious to unearth some "smoking gun" detail that can resolve this case once and for all.

But the reality, from my vantage point in the public gallery here, is that there is no "smoking gun" - besides the obviously literal one.

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Oscar Pistorius damaged but not destroyed

15 April 2014
Oscar Pistorius (left) arrives ahead of his trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, 15 April 2014
The past five days of the trial have done Oscar Pistorius few favours

It has been exhausting just to watch Oscar Pistorius - doubled up on the ropes for hour after hour, heavy arms trying to fend off another clinical combination of lethal jabs and low blows from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

As the athlete finally slinks wearily back across the court from the witness stand to the dock, he must know that the last five days have done him few favours in this trial.

Read full article

Andrew added analysis to:

Oscar Pistorius 'heartbroken' at seeing Steenkamp body

15 April 2014

It has been exhausting just to watch Oscar Pistorius - doubled up on the ropes for hour after hour, heavy arms trying to fend off another clinical combination of lethal jabs and low blows from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

As the athlete finally slinks wearily back across the court from the witness stand to the dock, he must know that the last five days have done him few favours in this trial.

Read full article

Oscar Pistorius 'close to disaster'

11 April 2014
South African track star Oscar Pistorius arrives for his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 11 April
Chastened by two days of tough questions, Mr Pistorius arrives for a third day at the hands of Gerrie Nel

I'm tapping this out in Courtroom D, on a hard bench, at the end of an extraordinary, roller-coaster week of drama, tears and confrontation.

The Pistorius family are sitting on the row just in front of me, and it is hard not to follow events through their own, visceral reactions, as they flinch and cry.

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Pistorius trial: Tough start about to get tougher

7 April 2014
Oscar Pistorius, 7 April
Oscar Pistorius is sure to face a fierce grilling from prosecutor Gerrie Nel

Oscar Pistorius may have grabbed the headlines today, but as far as the trial is concerned, I suspect some of the biggest developments may have come earlier on Monday morning before the athlete even began giving evidence.

Two things stuck out for me.

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Cape Town ready for Dewani honeymoon murder trial

6 April 2014
Shrien and Anni Dewani pictured at their wedding in October 2010
Shrien and Anni Dewani married in Mumbai in India in October 2010, two weeks before her death

No-one is celebrating in Cape Town, but there is an eager sense of both vindication and anticipation here, as South African officials await the long-delayed arrival of British murder suspect Shrien Dewani on Tuesday morning.

"All systems are go," said Mthunzi Mhaga, a spokesman for the department of justice.

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What Zuma should say about Nkandla

2 April 2014
President Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma is campaigning for a second term as South Africa's president

President Jacob Zuma is required to account to parliament on Wednesday regarding South Africa's Nkandla scandal - the expensive state-funded upgrades to his private home. Some of his critics would like to see him impeached, or charged. Mr Zuma insists he did nothing wrong and his party, the ANC, has largely sought to play down the affair.

So what should, or might, Mr Zuma say to parliament - within reason? I'm no spin-doctor, or speech-writer, but I thought I'd have a go:

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Pistorius trial: After the evidence, focus on character

26 March 2014
Pistorius in court
The trial will increasingly scrutinise Pistorius' actions and motives on the fateful night

So what have we learned after almost a month of prosecution evidence in courtroom D?

There's been plenty of sound and fury. And yes, a cricket bat, a door, some retching, and plenty of text messages.

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Pistorius trial: Nation of competing realities

15 March 2014
Oscar Pistorius reacts during his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, on March 13, 2014
The courtroom drama has given a revealing view of South African society

This can be a bewildering country.

Take one exit on the drive north from Johannesburg to Pretoria and you'd think you were in downtown Geneva. Take the next and it's more like Kinshasa.

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Pistorius trial: The pathologist's report

10 March 2014

Oscar Pistorius knew what was coming - the detailed pathologist's report about the injuries sustained by Reeva Steenkamp. During a brief recess beforehand, the athlete's sister Aimee moved over briefly to sit beside him in the dock, and hugged him.

Then Professor Gert Saayman began, and the athlete leant forward in his seat, his hands - holding a white handkerchief - clutched over his head as if to protect himself. As he began to retch, a court orderly pushed what appeared to be a waste bin closer to Mr Pistorius's feet.

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About Andrew

Andrew has been Africa correspondent since 2009, covering the continent's highs and lows - from the World Cup, Africa's economic boom, and the literary treasures of Timbuktu, to the pirates of Somalia, the conflict in Ivory Coast, and the struggles of Zimbabwe.

He has spent twenty years as a foreign correspondent, based in the former Soviet Union, Africa, and Asia, and reported on the 1993 parliamentary rebellion in Moscow, two Chechen wars, the Asian tsunami in 2004, and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Sudan, Liberia and beyond.

Andrew was born in the UK, grew up in Belgium and at boarding school. He is married with three children.

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