South Africa's Oscar Pistorius to face 2 gun charges at murder trial
October 30, 2013 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on August 19, 2013.
- Oscar Pistorius will face two gun-related charges alongside a murder charge, prosecutors say
- He's due to go on trial in March for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
- The athlete already faced the gun charges, but they have now been moved to the same court
- Pistorius admits shooting Steenkamp in his home but says it was an accident
Johannesburg (CNN) -- South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius will face two additional gun-related charges when he goes on trial for murder next year, a spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said.
The charges will be heard alongside the murder charge when Pistorius' trial begins in March, Nathi Mncube told CNN.
READ: 'Blade runner' hires American forensic experts for murder defense
Pistorius, nicknamed the "Blade Runner" for the special prostheses he uses for sprinting, has admitted to shooting dead his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his high-end home on Valentine's Day. But he has said it was an accident.
The gun-related charges are not new but have been moved from the South Gauteng jurisdiction where they were filed to the jurisdiction where the murder trial is being held, North Gauteng.
Pistorius hires U.S. forensics team
Pistorius indicted on murder charge
Oscar Pistorius faces life sentence
Pistorius is accused of two separate instances of firing a gun in a public space.
The National Prosecuting Authority decided to transfer them so that "all charges against Pistorius can be heard at the same place at the same time in front of the same judge," Mncube said.
The state has indicted the track star on a premeditated murder charge and, if convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Legal analysts in South Africa say they think the prosecution will seek to characterize Pistorius as a trigger-happy, irresponsible gun owner.
However, this apparent strategy could backfire if the gun-related charges made it seem less likely that Pistorius shot Steenkamp deliberately, said Kelly Phelps, a CNN legal analyst and lecturer in the law faculty of the University of Cape Town.
The alleged gun-related offenses, which will be prosecuted under South Africa's Firearms Control Act, date back to before the death of Steenkamp, but were not previously acted on.
The fact the National Prosecuting Authority is pursuing the charges now adds weight to the idea that prosecutors are seeking to create a negative "character picture" of Pistorius, Phelps said.
Pistorius, a double amputee, denies the murder charge and has said he mistook his girlfriend for a home invader when he fired shots from a pistol through a bathroom door that the 29-year-old was behind.
A spokeswoman for Pistorius said this month that he's hired an American forensic team to give expert testimony to cast doubt on evidence against him.
READ: Pistorius case brings South Africa gun culture to global spotlight
CNN's Brent Swails reported in Johannesburg and Laura Smith-Spark wrote and reported in London.
Part of complete coverage on
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 0744 GMT (1544 HKT)
Oscar Pistorius' trial is under way again -- take a virtual tour of his apartment to see each side's case.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
He was the so-called "Fastest Man on No Legs," and his inspiring story captured the imagination of the world at the London Olympics.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
The striking, platinum-haired model was gearing up for her reality television debut.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1403 GMT (2203 HKT)
Oscar Pistorius was "praying, crying, torn apart," the first person on the scene testified.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 0926 GMT (1726 HKT)
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and it's easy to see why.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
As the athlete is grilled in court, Becky Anderson asks psychologist Dr. James Thompson about his state of mind.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
Previously unseen photographs of Reeva Steenkamp show the South African beauty just months before her tragic death.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
A year to the day he killed his girlfriend, blade runner Oscar Pistorius broke his silence, describing her death as a "devastating accident."
February 16, 2014 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
The photos of Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp appear to show a young couple in love.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
He was the first amputee to compete at an able-bodied Olympics. Now, he's being accused of murdering his girlfriend.
March 1, 2014 -- Updated 1913 GMT (0313 HKT)
A week before her death, South African model Reeva Steenkamp talked about her secure, blissful environment.
Today's five most popular stories