Oscar's apology questioned in court

2014-04-10 10:59
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius's apology to Reeva Steenkamp's family said nothing about him killing her, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

"The word 'I'm sorry I killed her' is not there," said Nel.

Pistorius then told Nel that he was sorry for causing sorrow for the family.

Breaking down, Pistorius said: "I'm terribly sorry that I took the life of their daughter."

Nel responded: "Now you say it."

Nel asked Pistorius if he wrote down his apology. The athlete said no.

Steenkamp's mother June was in court with her lawyer Dup du Bruyn, a friend, and Steenkamp's cousin.

Thursday was day 20 in his murder trial and his fourth day on the witness stand.

No private apology

Nel demanded to know why he had not apologised privately, choosing instead to make them listen to it in a full court room with proceedings being televised globally.

"You didn't think how they would feel sitting in a public court," asked Nel.

"I'm not sure it was appropriate My Lady, but that's what I thought that was best," said Pistorius.

He added: "I don't think they would ever want to meet me. I completely understand where they are coming from."

Nel's theme was that in their short relationship, all attention was on Pistorius's needs as an international gold medal winning paralympic and Olympic athlete.

"Life is just about you, what's important to Oscar," said Nel.

Never told her he loved her

Earlier, Pistorius told the court he never told Steenkamp he loved her in his cellphone text messages.

"I never got the opportunity to tell her I loved her," Pistorius said during cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Nel was questioning the paralympic athlete about his relationship with Steenkamp in January and February 2013.

Nel said he examined WhatsApp messages on Steenkamp's phone.

"The phrase 'I love you' appears twice on Reeva's WhatsApp, both times to her mother, never to you."

Nel said Pistorius never sent Steenkamp a long message telling her how he felt about her.

"I was on my phone for a lot of other reasons. I didn't write any long messages. I preferred to discuss things with her in private or when I saw her," Pistorius replied.

In the first minute of Nel's cross-examination he twice mentioned to Pistorius that Steenkamp "was killed by you".

He has been at pains to point this out since he began questioning him on Monday.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on 14 February last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder. She was struck in the hip, arm and head

Pistorius is also charged with contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.


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