Oscar: Day two of testimony

Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Oscar describes first days with Reeva

Oscar Pistorius met his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a mutual friend on November 4, 2012, he told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

They met through a mutual friend, Justine Devaris, and “hit it off” over lunch.

Afterward she told Devaris that he had forgotten that he had RSVPd with a partner for the SA Sports Awards and Divaris suggested Steenkamp.
Pistorius said he did not think Steenkamp would be that “carefree” but he took Divaris’s advice and she said yes and she would be ready in an hour and a half.

They went to the SA Sports Awards and later spoke until late. They were famously photographed at that event. He told Divaris “Reeva was a fantastic date”.

The following day he asked her if she wanted to go for coffee and they saw each other every day for the next six days.

She went overseas after that and when she came back they took November and December getting to know each other.

“I asked her to come with me and she said she needed some time alone,” he said of holiday plans he was making.

She wanted to spend time with a friend at Christmas but the friend cancelled plans and they spent Christmas together with his friends Darren Fresco and his girlfriend.

When he later went to Cape Town she asked if she could stay in his house in Pretoria.

At the end of January it was starting to “pick up”.

“I think she was more into her than she was with me at times,” he told the High Court in Pretoria, appearing more confident that on Monday.

The SA Sports Awards is when he “cheated” on his former girlfriend Samantha Taylor, according to Taylor’s testimony earlier.

Oscar tells of WhatsApp argument

With tears trickling down his face, Oscar Pistorius told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday his version of an argument on WhatsApp with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

“I just think it was a bad day in our relationship,” said Pistorius after reading out Steenkamp’s text to him sent on January 27 at 4.17pm. He had started reading the text fluently, but faltered when he came to parts where Steenkamp wrote: “I am the girl who fell in love with you and wanted to tell you this weekend.”

The court has heard through State data analyst Francois Moller that Steenkamp said she was “scared” of Pistorius after an incident at her friend’s party. She complained that there appeared to “double standards” in their relationship and that he was telling her how to behave.

On Tuesday, Pistorius said they had gone to friend Darren Fresco’s engagement party but Pistorius had to pick up her friend who was running late.

He had said they would leave at a certain time and towards the end of the engagement party they were walking out of the venue and Steenkamp started talking to an “unknown person”.

“She didn’t introduce me. I made my presence known and again she didn’t introduce me. “I think that maybe I was sensitive and felt insecure and jealous,” he explained. Steenkamp started tickling his neck but, said Pistorius, “I wasn’t kind to her”.

They left and instead of her spending the night at his home in Pretoria as planned, she went back to her house.

“She was also in a short mood with me so instead I dropped her off at her place.” Steenkamp then sent the message.

Oscar tells love story in court

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius was at pains to tell the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday that he and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp cared for each other.

“I obviously cared about her,” said Pistorius as his lawyer Barry Roux SC asked him to read extracts of over 1700 WhatsApp messages sent between the two to counter the argumentative tone of four of the messages.

In the messages they greet each other in the mornings, he says he wishes he could “tuck her in” at night, he asks her not to go running in an area he considers unsafe.

They were looking at furniture together after he put in an offer for a house in Johannesburg, to be closer to her. He said she understood the pressures of his life as an athlete — the training, the diet, the media attention, and she was supportive.

He was under “general pressure” because of his fitness training as a paralympic athlete, financial pressure after purchasing a new home and pressure from the media.

“I don’t think it’s easy for someone who hasn’t dated a sportsman to understand how strict our diet and our way of living is,” he said. “She did get the way I had to live healthy,” he said, referring to a text in which she said she would help make him healthy. In turn, Steenkamp’s texts tell of stress about finances, signing with a new agency, and hate mail because she was dating Pistorius.

He explained that his last correspondence with his previous girlfriend Samantha Taylor was by email in which she “confessed” to sleeping with a man she was seeing while he was at the Olympic Games. After that Taylor kept messaging him asking that they reconcile but he ignored them.

He met Steenkamp on November 4 and they went to the SA Sports awards together the same day, which Taylor previously told the court was when Pistorius cheated on her. Pistorius said that after the sports awards, he and Steenkamp spoke about the possible media fallout.

The next day he was called by the press about Taylor and he was named as a “player” and a “rondjagter” in the media. Steenkamp was also compared to Taylor in the media.

He did not reply to any journalists trying to contact him and told Steenkamp she “knew what was right”.

“She struggled with it because she never dealt with that level of attention before,” he said. Fake Twitter accounts were set up about her. “When I said she could stay with me it was a weight off her shoulders.

We were looking to make a future together.”

Roux asked Pistorius to clarify the term “Boo” which appears in their texts.

“It’s a sign of endearment used by young people sometimes, a nickname,” said Pistorius.

Oscar describes Reeva’s last day

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday recalled his activities on February 13, 2013, the day before he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home.

He told the High Court in Pretoria Steenkamp had slept over and when they woke up he left early because he had a meeting in Johannesburg and wanted to miss traffic.

“I thought Reeva would go back to Johannesburg,” he said.

Pistorius said his meeting ended at noon and he called the estate agent.

They met briefly to discuss documents and so the athlete could sign papers.

After the meeting with the estate agent, Pistorius said he went to see his friend Justin Devaris. His girlfriend, who was a “very close friend” of Steenkamp later arrived.

He was going to meet up with friends and suggested Devaris’s girlfriend invite Steenkamp to join her at the movies.

“I phoned Reeva and we had texted back and forth during the day,” he said.

Steenkamp said she wanted to finish her washing and Pistorius said she could stay in Pretoria if she wanted to.

Pistorius said Steenkamp asked if she could cook dinner for them and said she would stay the night. She left the estate to get food.

He arrived shortly after 6pm and Steenkamp was preparing dinner.

“I went upstairs to change and shower,” he said.

Around 7pm he went downstairs.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius asked him about his access to his IPad for the day. He said he had access to it for the entire day.

He said he was surfing the internet and when he went upstairs he used it again.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder. He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.


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