A South African judge on Tuesday (June 4) postponed until August 19 the murder trial of global athletics star Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

Pistorius, 26, has admitted to shooting Reeva Steenkamp, 29, four times through a locked bathroom door on Feb. 14 at his home in an affluent Pretoria community.

In pre-trial testimony, his lawyers told the court the shooting was a tragic mistake and Pistorius was acting in self-defence against what he thought was an intruder.

Prosecutors accuse him of premeditated murder for firing into the door, hitting Steenkamp in the head, hip and arm.

The judge postponed the case after the athlete's lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

Pistorius has mostly kept out of the public eye since he secured bail. Media reported that in April he partied at a nightclub in a Johannesburg suburb after his bail conditions were relaxed in March.

South Africa does not have trial by jury so pre-trial media coverage is seldom deemed to be prejudicial.

Presented by Adam Justice