Pistorius trial – day 21

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius is back in the Pretoria High Court on Friday (11/04/14) for day 21 of his trial.

Follow The Herald on Twitter for live updates.


Pistorius tailoring evidence: Nel


Prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued badgering paralympian Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of lying and tailoring his evidence, in his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday morning.

Nel attacked a claim by Pistorius that he deactivated his alarm after he left his bedroom to go downstairs, after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on February 14 last year.

This was to let in Johan Stander, who is in charge of security at the Silver Woods Estate where Pistorius lived, shortly after the shooting.

“Before I left my room to go downstairs I deactivated the alarm,” Pistorius said. Nel pointed out that in his evidence-in-chief Pistorius said he “must have” switched his alarm off. “‘Must have’ was never said. Why are you tailoring your evidence?” Nel asked.

“Tailoring evidence” means an accused is adapting his version of events to match the facts the prosecution presents him with. “It was a mistake… I’m tired, My Lady,” Pistorius replied in a monotone voice, keeping his eyes on Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Pistorius continued by adding: “I don’t have any recollection of switching it off.” “I’m not convinced about your answer.

Now I think you’re covering up for lies,” said Nel. Masipa then intervened and cautioned Pistorius that he “should be all here” and that if he was too tired to proceed he should say so.  


Court adjourns for tearful Oscar  


Pistorius cried in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday, saying he was going through a difficult time.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel was cross-examining the athlete on where items in his bedroom were the night he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria house.

Pistorius said a fan in his bedroom was not where it was photographed on a picture shown in court. He said he did not remember bumping or kicking the fans on his way to the bathroom.

Pistorius became emotional after Nel said his explanation of what happened before the shooting did not make sense.

“Mr Pistorius, are you okay, are you emotional,” Nel asked.

Pistorius: “If I kicked the fan, it would be in my favour to say I did, but I can’t remember.”

Nel: “Why are you getting emotional?”

Pistorius: “It’s a difficult time for me.”

Nel: “But why would this question make you emotional?”

Pistorius: “This is a person I cared about. I don’t know how people don’t understand that.”

Nel asked for an adjournment because Pistorius was “clearly distressed” and needed time to compose himself.


‘Why didn’t you speak to Reeva?’ asks Nel

A reasonable individual would have asked the one in bed with him if she had heard a noise, prosecutor Gerrie Nel told Oscar Pistorius during his trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

“A reasonable person would have looked where Reeva was, if she was safe. You just grabbed your gun,” Nel told Pistorius during cross-examination.

Pistorius has said that shortly before the shooting he got out of bed to bring in two fans from his balcony.

Steenkamp apparently got out of bed without him noticing and went to the bathroom. He then heard the bathroom window sliding open, got his gun and went towards the noise.

Nel reminded Pistorius about the evidence of two couples who had heard shouting and shots from Pistorius’s house.

“The Stipps said the first thing that happened between them is they spoke to, each other. ‘Did you hear that?’ The Johnsons spoke to each other, but you didn’t.”

Pistorius replied: “I was not right next to her when I heard the noise. I was on the other side of the bed.”

Nel continued by arguing that it made no sense for Pistorius to approach an intruder. Making this submission, prosecutor Gerrie Nel cited the paralympian’s vulnerability and fear of crime.

“That’s why it doesn’t make sense to me that you approached them,” said Nel.

“There were many many thoughts that were going through my head at the time, My Lady,” said Pistorius.

He said after telling her to call the police, he approached the bathroom with his firearm in front of him.

“You could have done lots of other things,” said Nel listing running to the balcony as a possibility.

Pistorius denied that he was “ready to shoot” or even intended to shoot anyone as he rushed to the bathroom then slowed down, and inched along the tiles towards the noise of a window sliding open he had heard earlier.

He continued: “As I said, My Lady, I didn’t want to take anybody’s life. I screamed for the intruders to get out of my home.”

If he had not done anything, he and Steenkamp would have been in danger.

Nel: “If you had stayed within the room(bedroom) Reeva would have been alive”.

Pistorius: “I understand that, I agree with that, but that’s not a test.”

He said he was working on instinct but Nel said instinct would have been making sure Steenkamp was safe.

“My Lady, everybody’s instinct is different,” the athlete said, adding that he thought he was making things safer.

When he was getting closer at one point with his gun he was kneeling down with thoughts flashing through his mind of what could happen — someone could choke him or rush at him with a knife from the bathroom.

“So this wasn’t split-second. Now you’re thinking,” said Nel.

Pistorius had said before he knew it, he had fired four shots into the toilet and then found out it was Steenkamp who was spending the night.

Nel said: “She is 3m away from you in the toilet and she never uttered a word. It’s not possible. She would be scared.”

Pistorius: “But why would she shout out?”

Nel: “Because you are in the room, sir.”

The State believes Pistorius and Steenkamp had an argument before she was shot.


3 thoughts on “Pistorius trial – day 21

  • April 14, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Was blood found on alarm switch?

  • April 11, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Why did she have a cell phone with her in the toilet at 3 Am. Why was the door locked at 3am. Why four shots fired, because the shots were fired in anger, if he was not angry surley maybe only one shot.

  • April 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    This crippled thug needs a life sentence,pity the rope would have been more apt,he has lied and contrived a story throughout,let the murderer rot in goal!


Leave a Reply

Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment moderation policy. Your email address is required but will not be published.