Oscar Pistorius may take stand today

2014-03-28 08:14

Day 16 of the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is likely to start with the Paralympian taking the stand today in the high court in Pretoria.

Legal experts agreed yesterday that Pistorius was “very likely” to take the stand to shed light on the night he shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

It was common practice in South Africa for the defence to call the accused first, University of Cape Town law lecturer Kelly Phelps said at the time.

Phelps added: “It is very, very, very likely that he will testify based on the nature of the defence that he is relying on,” on the eve of the resumption of the trial.

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 said he had mistaken her for an intruder. However, the state says the murder is premeditated.

He has pleaded not guilty and, in his plea statement, denied they had argued shortly before the shooting. He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act.

Wits School of Law Professor Stephen Tuson said Pistorius would likely be called to testify first to prevent an accusation that he tailored his evidence.

The state closed its case on Tuesday after it called 21 of the 107 witnesses on its witness list.


The witnesses included Pistorius’ neighbours, a security guard at his estate, the pathologist, ballistics expert, cellphone expert, Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend and former friends.

Tuson said Pistorius’ defence team had various options including applying for an acquittal in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

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