A neighbour heard a woman’s “terrible screams” from Oscar Pistorius’s house in the early hours of February 14 last year, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday (03/03/2014).
“She screamed terribly and called for help. Then I heard a man calling for help three times,” Michelle Burger said during questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Burger lived at the Silverstreams luxury estate which was next door to Pistorius’s, Silver Woods.
The slender woman, dressed in black, spoke in Afrikaans and had her testimony translated into English. Her evidence was not televised.
Later under cross examination she said: “I was convinced that that woman was being attacked”… “She and her husband were being attacked in that house.”
The fear in the voice of the woman that she heard over the night air in the early hours of Valentine’s Day made her think a robbery was taking place.
Pistorius watched Burger, dressed in a black suit with her long hair pinned back, as she answered his defence lawyer Barry Roux’s sometimes hectoring questions.
Burger said: “Her shouts, her screams were petrifying… it is the most helpless feeling I have ever had in my life.
“Because of the climax of her shouts I knew something terrible was going to happen in that house. It was very intense.”
She said the screams just before the four gunshots she heard from her home in Silverstreams were “blood curdling”.
“It was something that leaves you cold [chilled]. You can’t explain it you just know that a woman’s life was very threatened.
The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.
In addition he is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
His lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her. – Sapa