I was awoken by loud bang - Oscar's neighbour

2014-05-06 14:18
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria. (Thobile Mathonsi, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his ongoing murder trial in Pretoria. (Thobile Mathonsi, AFP)

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Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's closest neighbour heard only a single loud bang on the Valentine's Day morning Reeva Steenkamp was fatally shot, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Eontle Hillary Nhlengethwa, a housewife in the Silver Woods Estate in Pretoria said she was woken by the single strident sound which was later followed by successive screams for help.

"It was very loud because it woke me up. I woke up my husband and asked if he had heard the sound," she told the court through an interpreter.

Nhlengethwa said her husband Michael went out of their bedroom to investigate if the sound had not come from within their house.

She then heard three successive screams from help.

"It was a male voice. It was like someone who was very hurt and needing urgent help. I could not make up words of what the [screaming] person was saying," she said.

The voice of the "screamer" was high-pitched.

Pistorius's lawyer Advocate Barry Roux asked Nhlengethwa to imitate the scream she heard. She yelled.

Nhlengethwa said she was very frightened through the ordeal. Her husband returned to their bedroom and phoned the estate's security guards.

He later went to Pistorius's house when the security vehicle was there.

He testified earlier on Tuesday.

"I saw Oscar. He was kneeling next to a lady who was just lying down there. He was just crying at that point in time," he said.

Pistorius in court

Pistorius sat attentively on Tuesday, sometimes clutching his head with both hands as the couple testified.

"I could see obviously that the situation was bad. I couldn't take watching what I saw."

Nhlengethwa said he saw the ambulance arrive at Pistorius's house.

"I saw the stretcher come out [of the house] at that moment my lady and I knew she was no more."

Pistorius claims he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot and killed her. He has been charged with murder. The State alleges he shot her during an argument.

Pistorius shot four times through the locked door of his toilet, and on his version thought an intruder was about to emerge and attack him. Steenkamp, who was behind the door, was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

He broke down the door with a cricket bat to get Steenkamp out.

Pistorius is also charged with three alleged contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition, and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

- SAPA

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial
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