Oscar Pistorius trial is set to drag out for longer following request by prosecutor Gerrie Nel\'s team
Oscar Pistorius has been accused of putting on a performance for the benefit of the court. Getty

Oscar Pistorius has been accused of taking acting lessons before standing trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

In an open letter to the blade runner, South African journalist Jani Allan alleges that Pistorius had taken guidance from one of her 'close friends' before taking the stand in Pretoria.

The athlete has been seen overcome with emotion in court, weeping uncontrollably and vomiting while hearing details of the horrific injuries suffered by his girlfriend after he shot four bullets, killing her.

The letter reads: "I have it from a reliable source that you are taking acting lessons for your days in court. Your coach has an impossible task.

"Oscar, I look at you mewling and puking in the witness stand. You truly represent everything that the West loathes about white South Africans who live extravagant lives in their expensive laagers," she adds.

She also compares Pistorius to Eugene Terre'Blanche, who served three years in prison for assaulting a petrol station attendant and for the attempted murder of a black security guard in 1996.

"Terre'blanche was cut from the same cloth as you, Oscar," she writes. "He was given to boasting, vain in all things, narcissistic in the extreme and flying into terrible rages when things didn't go his way. I suspect this description fits you."

Asked about the legitimacy of her letter, she told The Sunday People: "I have this information from extremely reliable sources."

Reeva's mother June Steenkamp has also accused the South African star of putting on a performance for the benefit of the court, while Reeva's sister Simone described him as "a disgusting liar."

Dr Denise Bjerkman who has analysed the 28-year-old's body language, said he is attempting to "project a complex image of innocence and grief to the mass media and court."

"Oscar has to," she explained. "His squeaky clean image comes natural to him with his short hair, relaxed wide-eyed response in social interaction and charming smile.

"What Oscar has to juggle in court is his three public personas: the boyish wonder he stage-managed for the global media – who will challenge any obstacle and which refutes his disability; the humble, controlled, grieving Oscar for public consumption in the courts and the suave flash Harry, fast cars, gung-ho image of Oscar with adoring women draped on his arm.

"His dramatic, tearful breakdown in court - when the brutal wounds on Reeva's Steenkamp's body were discussed - is more likely to be conveniently staged," she added.

"I believe such behaviour serves to hide his feelings of sickening guilt and vulnerability."

Pistorius admits to shooting 29-year-old Reeva on Valentine's Day last year, but claims he mistook her for an intruder in their apartment.

He denies premeditated murder and two counts related to shooting a gun.

The trail continues on May 5.