Story of emotional Pistorius told

2013-02-19 21:01
Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AFP)

Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius was emotional when his affidavit on how he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was read to the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

"I deny the aforesaid [murder] allegation in the strongest terms," Pistorius said in the 10-page statement, which was read to the court by his advocate Barry Roux.

Pistorius' version of events was being presented in an application for bail on the same day that Steenkamp's funeral service was being held in Port Elizabeth, about 1 100km away.

Pistorius was arrested on Thursday morning after Steenkamp was shot dead at his home in Silver Woods country estate, in Pretoria.

He was charged with murder on Friday.

The State intends arguing that the murder was pre-meditated.

With his brother Carl supporting him, the court heard: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp."

In the affidavit, Pistorius said he would put factors before the court to show that it was in the interests of justice to permit his release on bail, and that the State would not be able to present any "objective facts" that he committed a "planned or premeditated murder".

"On 13 February, Reeva would have gone out with her friends and I with my friends," Pistorius said in the affidavit.

"Reeva then called me and asked that we rather spend the evening at home.

"I agreed and we were content to have a quiet dinner together at home.

"By about 22:00 on 13 February 2013, we were in our bedroom. She was doing her yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television.

"My prosthetic legs were off. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way.

"She had given me a present for Valentine's Day, but asked me only to open it the next day."

Pistorius said that after Steenkamp finished her yoga exercises, she got into bed and they both fell asleep.

"I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes with a view to commit crime, including violent crime. I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglary before," he said in the statement.

"For that reason, I kept my firearm, a 9mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.

"During the early hours of 14 February 2013, I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and close the sliding door, the blinds and the curtains.

Filled with terror

"I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom. I felt a sense of terror rushing over me.

"There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside.

"Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps.

"I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed.

"On my way to the bathroom, I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police.

"It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed. I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom.

"I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.

"It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet.

"I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window," he said.

"As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself.

"I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger.

"I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.

"I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police," he said.

"She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance.

Realisation

"Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding.

"When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed.

"That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet.

"I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door, exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

"I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open.

"I think I must then have turned on the lights.

"I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door.

"Reeva was slumped over but alive.

"I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom.

"I phoned Johan Stander [‘Stander’] who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help," said Pistorius.

"I went downstairs to open the front door. I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to hospital.

"I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down, Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived.

"Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.

"I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.

"With the benefit of hindsight I believe that Reeva went to the toilet when I went out onto the balcony to bring the fan in.

"I cannot bear to think of the suffering I have caused her and her family, knowing how much she was loved.

"I also know that the events of that tragic night were as I have described them and that in due course I have no doubt the police and expert investigators will bear this out," said Pistorius.

His bail application continues on Wednesday.

- SAPA

Read more on:    netcare  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius
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