Oscar Pistorius: The witnesses next door

2013-08-25 14:00

Two of Oscar Pistorius’s immediate neighbours and one from across the road are on the list of witnesses the state could call to testify in his murder trial.

The neighbours could possibly shed light on what happened just before and after shots were fired on the night of February 14, when Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead in his luxury home at the posh Silverwoods Country Estate in Pretoria.

The charge sheet shows that the state is going to argue that “witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by a moment of silence, and then more gunshots and screams”.

During Pistorius’s bail application in February, he rejected allegations that there had been an argument between them before the shooting.

His lawyers told the court that the state’s claim was “speculative at best”.

The paralympic hero’s lawyers grilled former investigating officer Hilton Botha over his evidence that the neighbours had heard an argument.

Botha testified that the police had a witness who heard people arguing during the night.

But when asked on the stand about how far away the neighbours lived, Botha estimated that it was 600 metres.

People in the court room at the time laughed so hard at this that magistrate Desmond Nair had to call for silence.

Later, Botha said that it could have been 300 metres away.

However, as this graphic shows, witnesses include both next door neighbours as well as others from across the road.

In the charge sheet the state alleges that Steenkamp locked herself in the bathroom after which Pistorius fired four shots through the door with a 9mm pistol.

Pistorius claimed that he believed he was shooting a burglar.

The names of 18 residents and employees of Silverwoods appear on the list of witnesses.

Other state witnesses include Pistorius’s former girlfriend Samantha Taylor, who is expected to testify that he shot wildly in the air while travelling in an open-top car.

Others who can be called include his friend and luxury car dealer Justin Devaris, his girlfriend Samantha Greyvenstein, and Steenkamp’ friend and housemate Gina Myers.

The case was postponed to March for trial.

What did Oscar Pistorius’ neighbours hear?

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