Oscar recalls boat accident

2014-04-07 14:17
Oscar Pistorius defence advocate Barry Roux. (File, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius defence advocate Barry Roux. (File, AFP)

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Pretoria – Murder accused Oscar Pistorius on Monday recalled a boat accident he was involved in on the Vaal River in 2009.

"There was a massive impact," he told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

He said that after the accident he was more vigilant about not losing his life.

Despite what people had said and the stories that circulated, he had not been drinking before the accident.

Pistorius recalled going to the Vaal River with some friends on a Saturday in 2009, where they met up with more friends and family.

On returning, there were a couple of people on his boat who wanted to return to shore sooner and he suggested they go with his cousin who had another boat.

Pistorius recalled how his friend John stayed with him.

"He stood up... and shouted. I could not see the sun was setting in front of us," he said.

He remembered the sounds made by the boat as it crashed and could not remember what happened.

"The boat was half-filled with water," he said.

Pistorius said he realised that his face was hot.

"I realised that most of my face was smashed in," he said.

The court heard that the athlete realised he had to stay calm and called his uncle and cousin for help.

"I remember the boat sinking... my friend John was with me," he said.

‘Drowning from the blood’

Pistorius recalled how his cousin went to assist them and how people were shouting and screaming.

Pistorius says he does not remember much except the ambulance and that his cousin, who was studying medicine at the time, told the paramedics what to do.

"I was pretty much drowning from the blood," he said.

As he spoke, the athlete sat playing with a white handkerchief or tissue in his hands.

Pistorius said the accident changed his life.

He was in an induced coma for several days.

When the court adjourned for lunch, he left followed by his family.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on 14 February last year.

He says he had mistaken her for an intruder.

He has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

He also faces two charges related to contravening the Firearms Control Act, to which he has denied guilt.

Steenkamp's mother June was present in court with other family members and friends.

- SAPA
Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime
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