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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

Pistorius trial: Key questions for the defence

17 April 2014
Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria (17 April 2014)
Oscar Pistorius has repeatedly avoided accepting blame for killing Reeva Steenkamp

Both defence lawyer Barry Roux and prosecutor Gerrie Nel have made a habit of setting "homework" for the witnesses they are cross-examining at the murder trail of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius.

Judge Thokozile Masipa did the same for the lawyers on Thursday, urging them to make good use of the upcoming fortnight break for the Easter holidays.

In that spirit, here are a few questions that have been niggling me in recent days.

L: Barry Roux R: Gerrie Nel
Defence lawyer Barry Roux (L) and prosecutor Gerrie Nel have a lot of reading to do over the break
The door through which Reeva Steenkamp
The actual door through which Reeva Steenkamp was shot is in the courtroom
South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
The couple had been dating for three months before the fatal shooting

Tweet your thoughts and suggestions to @BBCAndrewH. I will be taking a week off and then focusing on South Africa's general election before returning to the hard benches of Courtroom GD on 5 May.

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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.

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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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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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