Day 5: Inside the Oscar Pistorius trial

A wrap of all the court proceedings on one page

 

 

Oscar

 

16:15: Wrap up of final session of court proceedings - Tymon Smith

The week's final session of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial ended with testimony from Pieter Baba, a security guard at the Silver Woods estate where Pistorius lived.

Baba testified that in the morning of February 14 2013 he had been alerted to the sound of shots by a phone call from Dr Johan Stipp, who testified yesterday.

Baba said he had seen Reeva Steenkamp arrive at the estate at 6pm on February 13, followed shortly by the arrival of Pistorius.

Baba said that a patrol in the early hours of the following morning revealed nothing peculiar - the lights at Pistorius's house were off and there were no noises to be heard.

Baba said that when he received the call from Stipp, he phoned Pistorius, who answered the phone and seemed to be crying, but told Baba: "Security everything is fine."

Baba then received another call from Pistorius, who was too distressed to say anything before the line went dead.

Baba's supervisor, Johan Stander, and his daughter arrived and drove to Pistorius's house. Baba said that when he arrived at the house, he saw Pistorius was carrying Steenkamp's body down the stairs from the bathroom.

Having seen her earlier in the evening and after receiving the call from Pistorius to say that everything was fine, Baba testified that he was so shocked at the sight that he couldn't focus for a few minutes before Stander sent him to call the police and ambulance.

Baba will continue his testimony on Monday morning.

"Mr Pistorius said to me, 'security, everything is fine'," testified lead guard at the estate, Pieter Baba.

Oscar Pistorius told a security guard everything was fine after shots were heard from his house the morning Reeva Steenkamp was killed, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

"Mr Pistorius said to me, 'security, everything is fine'," testified lead guard at the estate, Pieter Baba.

"I heard that he was crying," he said.

He told a colleague with him that he was sure that something was wrong.

Pistorius phoned him back and Pistorius just started crying over the phone and the line cut.

"I immediately told Jacob everything is not right."

ON THE SIDE: Published in the Sowetan newspaper today:

'Reeva's mom and I similar' written by  Pertunia Ratsatsi

SHE cuts a lone figure in the courtroom. Busi Khumalo, mother of murdered model Zanele Khumalo, yearns for her daughter as she listens to mitigation of sentence for the man convicted of killing her child.

Khumalo, who yesterday sat in courtroom GC - next to where Oscar Pistorius stands trial for the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in room GD - said she understood what Reeva's mother, June Steenkamp, was going through.

"I feel her pain. If I could, I would sit next to her, hold her hand and tell her that I understand. Our pain is so similar."

Thato Kutumela was convicted on November 13 last year of raping and strangling his 18-year-old girlfriend Zanele.

She was killed in April 2011.

While in the Pretoria High Court the Pistorius courtroom was packed with local and international media inside - and some outside - Kutumela's courtroom had only a few members of the media and his and Zanele's family.

Khumalo, like Steenkamp, spent most of the time outside court during the trial.

Khumalo said she could not bear to repeatedly listen to what happened to her daughter.

"Listening to people talk about her again and again is killing me," she said.

"It is not easy to accept that a child you left in good health in the morning when you went to work suddenly died.

"I find it difficult to sit in the same room with the man who killed my child as well as with his family.

"It is so painful, I don't know how to explain it."

"I could not sit there [in court] and look at him [Kutumela] and his family the whole day.

"I will never see my child again, [but] his family has the pleasure of talking to him and touching him.

"Maybe I would feel better if he or his family came to us and apologised.

"I would feel better if he told the court exactly what happened."

She said she would deal with the heartache no matter how painful the process was.

"She [Zanele] has left a huge space in our hearts and home. Her sisters miss her."

During mitigation yesterday, clinical psychologist Suzette Heath testified that Kutumela insisted that he did not kill Khumalo and therefore showed no remorse.

Heath said Kutumela "needs to be rehabilitated".

"He is not violent, but [he is] moody, sulky and withdrawn. He does not adapt to change quickly and keeps things inside."

The case continues today.

 Security guard testifies

Baba had been employed at the complex for around two years. He testified that five guards would be positioned at the complex at night, while another five would take the evening duty.

A security guard working at the Silver Woods Country Estate began testifying in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday .

Pieter Baba said he was the shift leader of the guards.

He testified in Afrikaans with an English interpreter.

Baba had been employed at the complex for around two years. He testified that five guards would be positioned at the complex at night, while another five would take the evening duty.

Pistorius always had phone with him

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius had his cellphone with him in bed at all times, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Taylor, whom he dated from 2011 to 2012, said he had two cellphones.

One, a work phone, he left in the kitchen, the other, a personal phone, he took to bed with him.

Taylor's testimony relates to whether he fired a shot through the sunroof of a car on September 30 2012. He is facing a charge under the Firearms Act on this allegation.

"If he went to the bathroom he would take his phone to the bathroom. He kept his cellphone wherever he went," she said.

He used his phone when they were in bed too.

His lawyer, Barry Roux, SC, said Pistorius did not always do this.

Taylor was asked where he kept the firearm she said he carried with him all the time. She previously said he put it on top of his prosthetic legs.

She had not seen him put his firearm under his bed when she had been at his house.

Roux wanted to know why she said he "often" used his cellphone at night, saying this did not mean every night, prompting prosecutor Gerrie Nel to lodge an objection over semantics.

Judge Thokozile Masipa entered the fray with "I have the same opinion as Mr Nel. Often can mean five times, four times."

Roux said: "Often means frequent, not every night."

Asked to clarify, Taylor said: "Every single night when I was in bed he would have used his cellphone."

It has been reported that Pistorius could not remember his cellphone access codes after he shot Steenkamp, and that an application has been made to Apple to release information contained on the phone.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

 

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

 

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Oscar previously heard 'intruders'

Samantha Taylor, an ex-girlfriend of Pistorius, said that on one or two occasions while she had been at his home, he had believed there could have been a burglar in the house.

Oscar Pistorius had previously believed an intruder was in his house, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Samantha Taylor, an ex-girlfriend of Pistorius, said that on one or two occasions while she had been at his home, he had believed there could have been a burglar in the house.

She recalled one night when Pistorius heard something hit against the bathroom window.

"One occasion... he woke me up and asked if I had heard it. I told him it was probably the storm," said Taylor.

He said Pistorius took his gun, and he and a friend who was living with him at the time went to investigate. The two men found nothing.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot dead through a locked bathroom door in his Pretoria home.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

The State, however, argues that it was premeditated murder.

13:32pm: A summary of the court proceedings from 'Day 5' of the Oscar trial thus far - Tymon Smith

Oscar Pistorius's ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testified during the second session of the fifth day of the Paralympian's murder trial.

Taylor, a skinny blonde-haired 21-year-old, who was 17 when she started dating Pistorius in 2010, recalled an incident in 2012 in which she said Pistorius had fired his gun through the sunroof of a car.

Taylor said that she, Pistorius and Pistorius's friend Darren Fresco had been driving in the car on that day.

Taylor recalled that the three had been driving back from the Vaal River when they were stopped by the police for speeding. She said that Pistorius and Fresco were pulled out of the car and Pistorius had left his gun on the seat and was questioned by police about the firearm. Taylor added that Pistorius and Fresco were upset at the police after having been pulled over and that Pistorius fired a shot through the sunroof, after which he and Fresco laughed.

Taylor also testified that Pistorius would always take his personal cell phone to bed at night and often used it during the night, that he had screamed in her presence and that he had always sounded like a man when doing so. She also said that that he kept his firearm on him at all times and placed it next to his side of the bed at night, never under the bed.

Taylor became emotional, leading to two short adjournments, when asked by Advocate Barry Roux to recall the circumstances of her break-up with Pistorius.

She said that he had cheated on her twice, once while at the London Olympics and the second time in November 2012, when he took Reeva Steenkamp to the SA Sports Awards.

'Oscar was scared of attack'

"He was... very scared that he could be attacked," Roux put to State witness Samantha Taylor.

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was scared of being attacked, his lawyer Barry Roux told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"He was... very scared that he could be attacked," Roux put to State witness Samantha Taylor.

She replied: "Not necessarily... I don't think he was scared."

Roux then asked her about a day in April 2012 when she and Pistorius were pursued by a white C Class Mercedes.

"I recall it being a black BMW," she said.

She said when they arrived at Pistorius's gated complex in Pretoria, the athlete got out of his car with his gun and the car drove off.

She said neither of them was particularly scared at the time.

"He didn't seem very concerned," Taylor said.

She said when Pistorius walked on his stumps he had to balance against something.

Responding to Roux's statement that Pistorius kept his gun under his bed, she said he either kept it on the floor next to his bed or on his bedside table.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Samantha Taylor breaks down again - Sapa

Samantha Taylor broke down and cried when Pistorius's lawyer asked her how she had felt about their break-up.

Court proceedings were adjourned for a second time on Friday as an ex-girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius again lost her composure.

Samantha Taylor broke down and cried when Pistorius's lawyer asked her how she had felt about their break-up.

"I was upset," she said, before breaking into tears.

The 20-year-old woman earlier told the court that she and Pistorius had separated because he had cheated on her with model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius is standing trial at the High Court in Pretoria for the murder of Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through a locked bathroom door at his house on Valentines Day last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

During the proceedings, prosecutor Gerrie Nel walked to Taylor and spoke briefly to her.

'After we left, he was angry. Before he fired the shot he was irritated and afterwards he laughed' - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius was angry after a policeman reprimanded him for leaving his gun on the seat when he was stopped for speeding, High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

His ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the court that Pistorius later fired a shot out of the car, "perhaps out of spite," she said.

"After we left, he was angry. Before he fired the shot he was irritated and afterwards he laughed," said Taylor.

Pistorius, Taylor and his friend Darren Fresco had been driving from the Vaal when the incident occurred.

Taylor testified that Pistorius initially said he wanted to shoot at a traffic light, and then suddenly fired a shot through the open sunroof of the car.

As the 20-year-old spoke of the incident, she lifted her right hand in the air and demonstrated a shooting motion.

Taylor told the court she and Pistorius had broken up because he had cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius is on trial after shooting Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

"There was a lot of commotion in our relationship": Samantha Taylor - Sapa

There was "a lot of commotion" in her relationship with paralympian Oscar Pistorius, his ex-girlfriend told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"About a week before the sports awards, we were at Sun City and we had a couple of problems. There was a lot of commotion in our relationship," Samantha Taylor said to questions by Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius.

Taylor told the court she met Pistorius at a rugby game in 2010 and started dating him the next year, when she was 17.

She broke up with him for the first time when Pistorius was on a trip to London and went out with a woman called Anastasia.

The second and last time their relationship ended, was on November 4, 2012 when Pistorius took Reeva Steenkamp to a sports awards ceremony.

Taylor said she spent four nights a week at his home during their relationship.

Pistorius sat upright in the dock, listening to her.

Asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel why the relationship ended, she replied: "He cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp."

She started crying and court was adjourned for a few minutes to allow her to compose herself.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He has denied guilt, saying he mistook her for an intruder.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

She said at night he placed the firearm on his bedside table or next to his legs on the floor - Sapa

A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, Samantha Taylor, was sworn in to give evidence at his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

The gently spoken woman, with blonde hair flowing down her shoulders, told the court she started dating Pistorius's in 2011 when she 17.

They met at a rugby game in 2010 and he added her on Facebook and they started talking over social media.

She said she spent about four days a week at his house and was familiar with the main bedroom of the house.

He would sleep on the right hand side of the bed, she said.

She knew he owned a gun because "he carried it around with him".

She said at night he placed the firearm on his bedside table or next to his legs on the floor.

Pistorius wears prosthetic legs after a double amputation as a child and went on to become a gold medal-winning athlete who also competed in the Olympic games.

Oscar's ex, Samantha breaks down - Sapa

Taylor said: "The first time our relationship ended was when he cheated on me with..." and she sniffed and apologised to the judge.

The ex-girlfriend of murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius started crying after telling the High Court in Pretoria that he cheated on her twice.

This prompted the judge to call a composure break.

Gently spoken Samantha Taylor had just described how Pistorius had fired a shot through a sunroof of a car while they were dating -- which relates to the charge of discharging a firearm in a public place.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked why their relationship, between 2011 and 2012, had ended and she said: "He cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp."

Steenkamp was shot dead by Pistorius in a toilet cubicle in his bathroom in Pretoria on February 14, 2013.

He said it was mistaken identity, thinking it was a burglar. The State alleges it was murder.

When Roux began his cross-examination, he asked why they broke up.

She responded by enquiring whether he was referring to their first or second time.

Taylor said: "The first time our relationship ended was when he cheated on me with..." and she sniffed and apologised to the judge.

"I'm sorry, My Lady," she said, and Judge Thokozile Masipa called an adjournment.

Taylor wiped her eyes and was comforted by another woman, until court resumed a few minutes later.

Samantha testifies that Oscar does not scream like a woman - Sapa

"It is the accused's case that if he screams, and if he's really anxious, he screams like a woman," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said to witness Samantha Taylor.

Oscar Pistorius does not scream like a woman, his ex-girlfriend told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"It is the accused's case that if he screams, and if he's really anxious, he screams like a woman," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said to witness Samantha Taylor.

"That is not true," the willowy blonde replied.

When asked by Nel when she had heard Pistorius scream before, she said she had previously heard him scream "at myself".

Pistorius's lawyer has previously argued that on the night he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp, the woman whom witnesses say they heard screaming was in fact Pistorius screaming like a woman.

Taylor told the court she met Pistorius at a rugby game in 2010 and started dating him the next year, when she was 17.

Asked by Nel why the relationship ended, she replied: "He cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp."

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

'Oscar fired shot out of car'- Sapa

Samantha Taylor told the High Court in Pretoria that she, Pistorius and his friend, Darren Fresco, were stopped by police for speeding.

An ex-girlfriend of murder-accused Oscar Pistorius on Friday testified that Pistorius had shot through the open sunroof of a car as they drove from the Vaal.

Samantha Taylor told the High Court in Pretoria that she, Pistorius and his friend, Darren Fresco, were stopped by police for speeding.

Pistorius and Fresco stepped out of the car and Pistorius left his gun on the seat.

After checking the car, the policeman told Pistorius that he should not have left his gun on the seat, said Taylor.

"Oscar shouted at the policeman and said he shouldn't touch his gun," said Taylor.

The three of them then drove off.

"Oscar and Darren were irritated and they said they wanted to shoot a robot," said Taylor.

"About two minutes later, Oscar took out his gun and shot through the roof," Taylor, adding that it was through an open sunroof.

As the 20-year-old spoke of the incident, she lifted her right hand in the air and showed a shooting motion.

She told the court that Pistorius and Fresco then laughed about the incident.

Taylor was testifying in the murder trial of Pistorius.

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home.

He alleged he had mistaken her for an intruder.

Taylor, just like Steenkamp, is a blonde with the looks of a model.

Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testifies - Sapa

She said at night he placed the firearm on his bedside table or next to his legs on the floor.

A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, Samantha Taylor, was sworn in to give evidence at his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

The gently spoken woman, with blonde hair flowing down her shoulders, told the court she started dating Pistorius's in 2011 when she 17.

They met at a rugby game in 2010 and he added her on Facebook and they started talking over social media.

She said she spent about four days a week at his house and was familiar with the main bedroom of the house.

He would sleep on the right hand side of the bed, she said.

She knew he owned a gun because "he carried it around with him".

She said at night he placed the firearm on his bedside table or next to his legs on the floor.

Pistorius wears prosthetic legs after a double amputation as a child and went on to become a gold medal-winning athlete who also competed in the Olympic games.

Steenkamp's family not in court - Sapa

Members of Reeva Steenkamp's family were not seen in court on Friday as her alleged murderer Oscar Pistorius appeared for the fifth day of his trial in the High Court in Pretoria.

While Steenkamp's mother had attended the proceedings on Monday, she has not been seen in court since then.

Steenkamp's father was reported to have suffered a mild stroke several and was not expected to attend the proceedings this week.

Steenkamp's cousin, Kim Martin, who has constantly attended the proceedings, did not return after court adjourned for lunch on Thursday.

After holding a brief conversation with Pistorius's sister Aimee, she cried as details of her cousin's injuries were revealed.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp in the arm, thigh and in the head.

The part of the court gallery that previously been occupied by the Steenkamp family was occupied on Friday by three members of the ANC Womens League, as well as two women friends of the Steenkamps.

During an adjournment, Pistorius on Friday shook hands with the ANCWL members.

Pistorius's family has maintained a strong presence in court, with Aimee attending all the proceedings since Monday.

During the week, the family was seen embracing Pistorius and at times praying with him.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, through a locked toilet door at his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day last year.

He claimed to have mistaken her for an intruder.

The State, however, argues that it was premeditated murder.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Witness saw light, Oscar claims it was dark - Sapa

Johan Stipp said he saw light through the frosted glass of Pistorius's bathroom from the bedroom balcony of his townhouse shortly after 3am on February 14 last year, when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

A witness's testimony that he saw a light on in Oscar Pistorius's bathroom window contradicts the paralympic athlete's claims that it was dark, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Johan Stipp said he saw light through the frosted glass of Pistorius's bathroom from the bedroom balcony of his townhouse shortly after 3am on February 14 last year, when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel then read from the statement Pistorius submitted at his bail application.

"Everything was pitch dark... I was still too scared to switch on the light," Nel read out to the court.

Stipp testified on Thursday that he woke up around 3am to what sounded like gunshots, then heard a woman screaming and then three more "bangs".

Stipp said he could see one whole pane and the top half of the other two of the bathroom window. On Thursday Stipp testified that he saw the light was on and the "light silhouette of a person" moving behind the glass from right to left.

A vacant plot of land separates Stipp's townhouse from the one Pistorius owned, in the Silver Woods Country Estate.

Court adjourned for tea at 10.45am.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Shout tests done at Pistorius house - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's defence recreated screams and shouts in tests at his Pretoria home last month as part of submissions to challenge testimony against the murder-accused paralympian.

"On the 21st of February there were indeed tests done and part of the tests was a woman screaming, loud, as loud as she could," said Barry Roux SC in the High Court in Pretoria.

He has submitted that the screams witnesses have said they heard, were actually Pistorius's because his voice sounds like a woman's when he is anxious.

He said it was not possible for Pistorius's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to scream when was shot dead by him on Valentine's Day morning last year because she had suffered severe brain damage, leaving her with no cognitive function.

A previous witness, Estelle van der Merwe, a neighbour in the upmarket estate, also said she heard shouting on February 21 this year.

The defence has placed heavy emphasis on the sequence and gender of the screams heard from Pistorius's house on the morning Steenkamp was shot dead.

The State's case is that Pistorius and Steenkamp had an argument before she was shot, and that her murder was premeditated.

His defence is that he thought there was a burglar in the toilet cubicle of the bathroom when he fired four shots through the meranti door, killing her. Then he broke the door down with a cricket bat and took her downstairs.

The latest witness, radiologist Johan Stipp, who said he later saw Pistorius next to her praying for her to live, said he heard the noises.

Stipp told the court, under cross-examination by Roux, that on the night Steenkamp was shot, he had heard a woman's scream, intermingled with a man's screams.

The test of February 21 is the second so far revealed to the court in the defence's bid to prove Pistorius's innocence on a charge of murder.

On Thursday, Roux revealed that a decibel test had been conducted of his voice to prove that his voice pitch changes.

The trial has seen the showcasing of several features not usually found in South African court cases. Screens are placed around the court for the display of photographs taken as exhibits to show the distance between the houses of Pistorius and witnesses, images such as close up of a shot fired into the floor of Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, allegedly by Pistorius, a long shot of Pistorius's bathroom window taken over the duvet cover and night light of Stipp and his wife Annette's bedroom.

Sound and visuals feed to accommodate the extra journalists and public interested in watching the trial first hand are screened in an "overflow room".

It is being broadcast live as a result of a precedent-setting court order by Judge Dunstan Mlambo, in addition to tweets of the testimony from inside the court.

Pistorius also faces charges under the Firearms Act relating to the alleged discharge of a firearm in public in separate incidents.

Pistorius can't recall intruder mention - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius does not recall telling a man who came to assist him after he shot and killed his girlfriend that he had mistaken her for an intruder, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

"Mr Pistorius says he can't remember telling you he thought she was an intruder," Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, told Johan Stipp, who was testifying in Pistorius's murder trial.

"He recalls asking you to help him," said Roux.

Stipp maintained that Pistorius had told him this.

The radiologist lives close to Pistorius's home at the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria.

He was one of the first people to arrive on the scene after Pistorius fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home.

On Thursday, he gave a chilling account of how he walked into Pistorius's home to find him kneeling beside Steenkamp at the bottom of his stairs, trying in vain to resuscitate her.

Stipp said Pistorius said: "I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her."

He told the court that Pistorius had his fingers in Steenkamp's mouth, trying to clear her airway.

He said Pistorius pleaded with God to save Steenkamp, claiming he would dedicate both his and Steenkamp's lives to God.

As Pistorius stands trial, he maintains that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.

The State, however, was trying to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door at his home.

Witness did not hear screams - Sapa

A witness whose bedroom balcony looks onto Oscar Pistorius's bathroom window told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday that he did not hear "blood-curdling" screams.

Barry Roux, for murder accused Pistorius, put it to radiologist Johan Stipp that another couple, Michelle Burger and her husband Charl Johnson, had testified to having heard "blood-curdling, fearful screaming that carried on during the shots and faded away after".

The couple's home is about 170m from Pistorius's. Stipp's is much closer, being separated from it by an open plot of land, according to photos displayed on screens around the court.

Stipp testified on Thursday that he woke up around 3am on February 14 last year to what sounded like gunshots, then heard a woman screaming and then three more "bangs".

He told Roux on Friday that after he went back inside his house from the balcony to call security, he did not hear further screaming.

Asked to explain why, Stipp said: "I probably had compromised hearing at that stage... I was on the phone, not talking, but there were sounds, like dialling tones."

Roux then moved on to ask Stipp exactly how much of the three panes of frosted bathroom window he could see.

He said one whole pane and the top half of the other two.

On Thursday, Stipp testified that he saw the light in the bathroom was on and the "light silhouette of a person" moving behind the glass from right to left as he stood on his balcony after the screams woke him.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Roux points out contradictions - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer on Friday said there were contradictions in evidence submitted by a radiologist testifying in Pistorius's murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria.

Barry Roux, SC, was questioning Johan Stipp on testimony he delivered on Thursday.

According to Roux, Stipp on Thursday said: "I saw the lights on, looked out and then heard the screaming."

Roux said Stipp, however, later said he first heard the woman screaming and looked around, wanting to establish where the screams were coming from.

In response, Stipp said: "My actions were all simultaneous."

"Remember, I'm a radiologist. I see in pictures. I'm talking, I'm looking I'm seeing. I am trained to do that," said Stipp.

He lived close to Pistorius's home at the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria.

Stipp was one of the first people to arrive at Pistorius's home after Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year.

He claims he had mistaken her for an intruder.

Roux went on to question Stipp about a series of calls he made to several people while requesting help while still at his home.

He questioned Stipp on whether he was sure about his testimony that he had twice tried to call the security at the complex.

Stipp agreed, adding that he could not get through the first time around.

Roux said the State had provided phone records of the security company and those showed that Stipp's first call did not go through, but the second call went unanswered.

Stipp maintained he was able to get through to security on his second try.

The State was trying to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door at his home.

In addition, Pistorius is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Sowetan speaks to Cape Town lawyer William Booth about the major developments in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial this week:

Why was Pistorius’s lawyer, advocate Barry Roux, harping on about witnesses hearing cricket bats rather than gunshots? Was he listening to South Africa’s cricket test match against Australia on an earpiece?

..... No. The prime reason for the distinction is … that the defence claims that Pistorius thought there was an intruder [in his house] and that his and Steenkamp’s lives were in danger. To protect [themselves], Pistorius fired shots through the bathroom door, and then looked for Steenkamp, but couldn’t find her. Pistorius realised Steenkamp could be in the bathroom and started screaming for help, while he got his cricket bat to bash down the door, and found her inside the bathroom.

The state is saying there was an argument, with a man and woman shouting/screaming, and then shots were fired as a result of the argument.

What does the evidence led by prosecutor Gerrie Nel suggest about the case?

The evidence led suggests there was an argument and, as a result of the argument, gunshots went off, suggesting that there was intention on [Pistorius’s] part to kill Steenkamp. The witnesses testified 1) that they heard gunshots 2) they heard a man and a woman - not just a man - screaming/shouting for help.

What can we expect next week?

For the defence, the whole case revolves around the fact that Pistorius believed there was an intruder [in his home] and fired four shots through the bathroom door. …

Questions would include whether Pistorius felt in immediate danger, or under threat, and therefore started shooting. That is what the defence would try to establish.

The state must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, and through the leading of evidence, that Pistorius had intention to kill Steenkamp. That is why they have extra charges relating to the firearm incident [at Tasha’s restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg]: the state wants to prove that Pistorius is a violent person and prone to irresponsible behaviour when he becomes angry.

The prosecution would try and prove that there could have been an argument, Pistorius lost his temper, and had the intention to shoot Steenkamp.

Also, that the evidence indicates nobody in his situation would be under the mistaken belief there was an intruder and therefore his self-defence action cannot be sustained.

Preparations for Oscar trial underway - Sapa

Preparations for day five of paralympian Oscar Pistorius's murder trial were underway at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday morning.

The cloudy and humid air threatened to bring more rainfall after a relatively sunny Thursday.

Parking bays around the court were already filled up just after 6am as journalists arrived.

Staff at the nearby make-shift restaurant were offloading stock and setting up tables for the day.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. Pistorius claims he mistook her for a burglar.

The first doctor to arrive at the scene where Pistorius shot Steenkamp testified on Thursday that the athlete was so emotional he feared he would turn the gun on himself.

"I was afraid Oscar would hurt himself," radiologist Johan Stipp told the court.

Stipp, a neighbour of Pistorius's in the Silver Woods security estate, said he was woken by gunshots and screams. After alerting security, he went to see if anybody needed medical help.

He found Pistorius kneeling next to his dying girlfriend, with one hand on a bullet wound in her thigh and the other in her mouth, trying in vain to force her to breathe.

 

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