As it happened: 'I don't wish that on any human being' - Reeva's father testifies

2016-06-14 14:00

Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry has given an emotional testimony on day two of Oscar Pistorius's murder sentencing, in his first ever appearance in court during the trial.

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Last Updated at 15:54
14 Jun 14:47
Pictures of Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

14 Jun 14:47
Pictures of Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

14 Jun 14:21
Carl Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

14 Jun 14:20
Uncle Arnold leaves with wife Lois from the High Court in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

14 Jun 14:06

We resume tomorrow, Wednesday at 09:30, for the last day of mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

Nel has promised that his last witness will not testify for longer than two hours, and thereafter, both the defence and the State will give closing arguments.


14 Jun 14:04

Masipa grants Nels request to adjourn now, an hour early, on condition that the testimony will be heard in full.

She implies that the testimony would not be stopped, and the court will sit longer than it should, if so.

Roux looks frustrated, Nel looks content.

Court adjourns.


14 Jun 14:03

Barry Roux objects. He accuses Nel of using "tactics".

"I don't know who this witness is, but if the witness is here, why can't they give testimony. We still have an hour? It's unfair to the accused."

Nel replies, "My lady, I'm not using tactics. The testimony could go on for 2 hours, it could last 20 minutes. But I just want the witness in the box once, and not be burdened by cross-examination overnight."


14 Jun 14:01

Gerrie Nel has now requested that the court stand down.

He has one more witness, but it will be an emotional interview, and doesn't want to take the chance of the witness having to carry testimony overnight.


14 Jun 13:58

"Do you know how many tablets he was supposed to take?"

Nurse says one medication in the morning and one in the evening.


14 Jun 13:57

A seemingly frustrated Roux, having battled to get his points across to Mashabane, who in turn struggled to answer them, closes his questions.

Gerrie Nel wants to re-examine his witness.

"Mr Roux wants to tell you that this accused was hoarding medicine prescribed for anxiety and depression."


14 Jun 13:54

"There is no way the patient could have seen other inmates while in Ward 4 (of the hospital)," she says.

"Did the incident happen?"

She answers yes.

"How would Mr Pistorius then know about it?"

"Because he's curious, he speaks to other prisoners. But there's no way we let other inmates see a dead body hanging like that."

"Were you there at the time of the incident?"

"No," she says.


14 Jun 13:52

Roux turns now to the issue of Oscar allegedly seeing the body of an inmate who hanged himself after allegedly being raped.


14 Jun 13:49

Roux: "So what happened is for this type of medication he would take it with, but he wouldn't use it all, because he tried to taper off himself.

"Which is wrong, but that explains why he had them."

Mashabane doesn't argue.


14 Jun 13:48

She is struggling to find the place in the report.

In December 2014, she reads, the patient was administered Urbanol for panic attacks which he could administer when needed.

"So that's not entirely correct then," Roux says. "You would give the patients medication which they can take on their own."

"But that's only that type of medication. It comes at night, when he was first admitted."


14 Jun 13:45

Mashabane is quiet.

"Yes they normally take it in front of us," she repeats.

"But not always?" Roux asks again. "They don't take the medication sometimes and they are able to take it themselves (in their cells)?"

She says no.

Roux then shows her a report and asks Mashabane to read it out loud.


14 Jun 13:43

Roux wants to know about the incident of finding illegal medication in Oscar's cell.

He wants to know how medication is administered by the nurses.

"Do you make your patients drink in front of you?" Roux asks.

"We normally do that," Mashabane replies.

"But not always," Roux suggests. "Can he take the medication with him in order to drink it?"


14 Jun 13:39

Barry Roux continues to cross-examine Nurse Mashabane.

She is now reading from notes, and Barry Roux asks where she got the notes.

"It's mine, she says, so I can remember."


14 Jun 13:36

Court has resumed.

Nurse Mashabane continues her testimony.


14 Jun 13:06

Judge Masipa interjects: "Mr Roux, of course he was seen as a kind person before because there weren't any incidents before that."

Roux: "Yes my lady, but I wanted to go on record to say that Nurse Mashabane saw him as a kind person."

Masipa: "Yes but that is tricking the witness. She thought he was a kind person because there were no incidents before the first one."

Roux: "I just wanted her to tell the court her first impression of Oscar, that's all my lady."

Roux finishes.

At this, Judge Masipa calls for lunch, and reminds the public in the courthouse that "this isn't a picnic", after a session of many giggles and laughter.


14 Jun 13:01

Roux: "So when he said 'get out', was he violent?"

Mashabane: "No, he wasn't violent but he just raised his voice, and that's how spoke to the nurses sometimes."

Roux: "Was he covering his head with a sheet or a blanket?"

Mashabane: "A sheet."

Roux: "Were you surprised? Before that you said he was a kind person."

Mashabane: "Yes."

Roux: "The point I'm making is that before that, you say he was a kind person."

Mashabane: "Yes, we never had any problems."


14 Jun 12:58

"You went into his cell while he was in his underpants, and that's when he shouted at you 'Get out, I'm sleeping!'" Roux prompts.

"I don't know, his body was not open, he was wearing his blankets," she answers.

"Did you leave?" Roux asks.

Mashabane: "I told him this is how the prison functions and we have to move on to other patients."


14 Jun 12:56

"Can you remember that you had to apologise to him?" Roux asks.

No, she says.


14 Jun 12:55

Roux says she can take her time to look at the register.

He moves on, and asks: "What's your purpose Nurse Mashabane? To proof that Oscar is a violent man?"

"No he's not", she says.

"He's not a violent man?" Roux asks again. "Can I exclude that from the record then?"

"No, wait, he is a violent man," she doubles back.

The court laughs again.


14 Jun 12:50

Roux: Ok, let's go through the incident. Did he have a damaged hand?

Nurse: No.

Roux: Do you remember prescribing Voltaren?

Nurse: Yes, for his legs. I denied his Voltaren because it was brought by his family. There was no arrangement why they brought the medication.

Roux: There is another incident. He fell, he wanted to go to X-ray and you refused. You gave him an ointment called "rub rub".

Laughter can again be heard coming from the court when the word "rub rub" is said.

Nurse: He said after he used it it assisted him.

Roux: Was the "rub rub" entered into the registry?

Nurse: Can you show me the register? I will ask the State to show me that you entered the "rub rub" into the register.


14 Jun 12:46

"Did he bang his notebook on the table, or his fist?" Roux asks.

"No just the notebook," she says.

"Mr Nel over there says he banged his fist on the table. He never banged his fist on the table?" Roux says.

"No it was he book," she says.



14 Jun 12:44
Roux: Let's go to the second incident.

14 Jun 12:44

Mashabane is quiet.

Roux: I think you are realising the incident is not much of an incident, and now you adding things to make it more of an incident.

The court can be heard giggling.

Nurse Mashabane is smiling, but doesn't say anything.

"Yes, in your evidence, you said you gave him medication, and he said 'no I don't want it', and that was it."

"Okay," she says.


14 Jun 12:42

Roux: How did Mr Pistorius display his anger?

Nurse: It's hard to explain, but he attitude.

Roux: Is he not allow to say 'I don't want to use this medication'?

Nurse: He must use the medicine we prescribe.

Roux: So what did he do?

Nurse: He threw the medication.

Roux: He threw the medication? But that is not what you said in your evidence in chief?

Nurse: Okay.

Roux: This is the first time you've said that. Why now are you telling us this, after I've pressed you?


14 Jun 12:37

Roux now asking about the incident on March 21, 2015 where Pistorius allegedly became aggressive.


14 Jun 12:36

"How long did you work with Mr Pistorius?" Roux asks.

"About six months," she responds.


14 Jun 12:35
Barry Roux now takes to cross-examining Nurse Mashabane.

14 Jun 12:35

Nel now asking about the incident of a man allegedly being raped and hanging himself.

"The hanging took place in Ward 4. Ward 4 is far from where Mr Pistorius was staying."

She says there is no way he could have seen it happening, because the prisoners had been in Central lockup.

Nel: "Mr Pistorius said he heard screaming as if he was raped. Do you know anything about that?"

"No," she says.

"When did this incident take place?" Nel asks.

"Mr Pistorius hadn't even been in the prison a full day, a couple hours when this happened," she answers.

Nel says he has no more questions.


14 Jun 12:32

"When Mr Pistorius allegedly banged his hands and a notebook on the table, was his hand injured? Do you know anything about that?"

"No," the nurse says.

He asks again.

"No, I don't know."


14 Jun 12:31

"Was Mr Pistorius, at any time, found with a blue eye?" Nel asks.

"Yes. One of the other nurses said he had been sleeping on the gym floor."

This point isn't adequately explained. The Judge interrupts, and Nel moves on to Oscar's "injured hand".


14 Jun 12:28
After these few incidents, Nurse Mashabane says she stopped working with Oscar Pistorius, and handed over to another Nurse.

14 Jun 12:28

Nel: "So there was no way you could have given him 28 doses of molipaxin, for instance?"

No, she answers.

Nel is referring to reports of Pistorius allegedly being found with medication in his cell.


14 Jun 12:27

"Scheduled medicine has to be kept in the hospital wing's drug cupboard," Mashabane says.

"Medicine that is either Schedule 2 or 3.

"We gave him his medication, as it was prescribed."


14 Jun 12:25
Mashabane says his medicine was not approved, that it must go through her, and she was doing due diligence therefore.

14 Jun 12:24
Mashabane says she checked and double-checked about Oscar's medication. She saw this as due diligence, but can imagine he may have seen it as victimisation.

14 Jun 12:23
Mashabane now talking about how any medication has to be dispensed by herself. If brought in privately, it has to be given to her.

14 Jun 12:23
Mashabane called nurses and discovered there was no arrangement for Oscar Pistorius to receive medication.

14 Jun 12:18
Mashabane is now relaying the rigorous process involved in prisoners applying for medicine, where it would be stored, and how it would be administered.

14 Jun 12:17

"I asked if she can assist me, and she said she was willing," Mashabane says.

"The Chief at Steve Biko said she can visit Mr Pistorius after hours."


14 Jun 12:16
"I was puzzled. Once you're work for government (as Dr van Wyk was), you're not allowed to practice privately," Mashabane says.

14 Jun 12:15

After the incident, he filled in forms that I gave to him, she says.

Three days later, Pistorius brought the application back.

"I phoned Dr van Wyk (Oscar's private doctor). I told her that Mr Pistorius was looking for her. I drove to Steve Biko [hospital] myself, so Dr van Wyk can speed up the process."

Mashabane says she did not know Dr van Wyk was Oscar's cousin.


14 Jun 12:13

"I explained to Oscar that he knows the procedure of getting approval, that it will take longer than two days," Mashabane says.

"He said 'don't play your games', and he banged a notebook on the table.

"I was trying to explain that I don't have the feedback. But I couldn't show him that I was afraid or anything.

"He told us that we are not knowledgeable, he doesn't know where we got our qualifications and that we are not competent.

"The security took him out, but he was making noise as he left."


14 Jun 12:10

"There was a second incident, correct. Please tell the court about that," Nel says.

"They told me that Mr Pistorius is looking for me. They told me that he is looking for his report. He was looking for NormaTec recovery supplements," she says.

"The doctor said she didn't know what the supplements were. They are for sportspeople."


14 Jun 12:08

At the hospital, doctors and nurses would work at the hospital, and security officials would accompany when dealing with prisoners, she says.

Procedurally, the security will wake the prisoners up when it's time for them to receive their medication.

"Tell us about the incident," Nel asks

"He just shouted, screamed, that I was disturbing him. 'Get out, I'm still sleeping!' he shouted. I was very surprised. He was not like that before."

"I explained to him the purpose again, but then we left the single cell. We then went to the next cell, who was Radovan Krejcir."

The incident happened on 21 March 2015.


14 Jun 12:05
"Please tell the court about the confrontation (with Pistorius)," Nel asks.

14 Jun 12:04

There were only two cells in the hospital wing while Pistorius was there.

Mashabane says the spare room was used as a gym.

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