Nel — the bulldog of cross examination

2014-04-08 00:00

IN spite of his slender frame, prosecutor Gerrie Nel yesterday showed why he’s known as a bulldog of cross examination.

Advocate Nel didn’t spare pathologist Professor Jan Botha, putting it to the doctor that his evidence was tailored to suit the defence.

“I don’t want to do it to you, but you did testify that,” he told him.

“Nonsense,” a red-faced Botha strenuously reacted.

“I am here to support the court and not to win or lose the case,” he said.

“I doubt that,” Nel responded.

In these moments, Nel stood with his hand on his hip, elbow on the podium, his spectacles dangling from one hand.

Nel accused Botha of testifying as it suited him.

“First you testify about ballistic factors; when I question you about that, you’re not a ballistic expert … now you’re a ballistic expert again?” he said.

Botha, who is in private practice and said he has conducted more than 25 000 postmortem examinations, said repeatedly that he was not a ballistic expert, but that he could, from experience, express a reasonable opinion on Reeva Steenkamp’s wounds.

The pathologist was forced to make several concessions, the most significant that his analysis of the order of the shots that caused the wounds could be incorrect.

Botha said he based his deductions on the “absence of blood spatter on the toilet wall”.

But during cross examination, Nel showed him photos of blood spatter against the wall.

“Yes, I see that there are blood spatters,” Botha said.

After Nel asked him to examine a close-up photo of a surface wound on Steenkamp’s back, Botha was forced to concede that she might have fallen on top of the magazine rack next to the toilet, instead of against it, as he had testified.

He agreed that Steenkamp was shot first in the hip, then in the arm and finally in the head.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.