Oscar Pistorius was expected to testify in court about killing Reeva Steenkamp, until illness forced an cancellation
Oscar Pistorius had been expected to testify in court about killing Reeva Steenkamp, until illness forced cancellation Reuters

The watching world was denied the chance to see Oscar Pistorius testify in court today (Friday) as illness forced a postponement in Reeva Steenkamp's murdrer proceedings.

It means the disabled star accused of killing his girlfriend now has an extra week to prepare for his much-anticipated appearance in the witness stand.

It had been expected the runner would speak on the opening day of his defence, in what is currently the biggest trial in the world.

The adjournment was called after a court assessor called in sick. Janette Henzan du Toit – who sits next to judge Thokozile Masipa during proceedings, was reportedly taken to hospital.

Judge Masipa declared her absence meant the court was not "properly constituted" as a result.

Masipa is being assisted during the trial by two court assessors who advise her. Trial by jury does not exist in South Africa since it was abolished under the apartheid system.

The technicality was an unexpected blip in the trial, which had been due to resume with Pistorius's defence, after the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday.

The runner's lawyer Barry Roux - who is reportedly being paid £3,500 a day declined to comment to reporters as he left court clutching a purple sack with his initials ornately embroidered.

Proceedings resume on Monday, April 10.

Olympian and Paralympian Pistorius, 27, denies murdering Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day last year. He claims he thought she was an intruder in the bathroom of his luxury home in a gated community located on the outskirts of Pretoria. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel claims Pistorius gunned down his girlfriend following a row between the couple.