Oscar's closest neighbour did not hear screams

2014-05-06 13:00
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during the testimony of a defence witness at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria. (Alon Skuy, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during the testimony of a defence witness at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria. (Alon Skuy, AFP)

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Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's closest neighbour did not hear screaming the night Reeva Steenkamp was shot, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"Oscar is my neighbour. I'm the closest neighbour... as I said I heard a man crying," Michael Nhlengethwa said during cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

"My Lady I heard the man that was crying, that is why I called security."

Nel questioned Nhlengethwa on what he and his wife heard in Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria, in the early hours of 14 February last year.

"Did you hear any sounds that could have emanated from him [Pistorius] breaking down the door?" Nel asked.

Nhlengethwa said no. He did not hear gunshots. However, he said his wife heard a bang. Nel asked if he heard a woman scream, Nhlengethwa said no.

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, apparently thinking 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.

Ambulance at Pistorius’s house

Earlier, Nhlengethwa, while being led in giving evidence by Barry Roux, for Pistorius, said he went to Pistorius's house after calling security.

"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."

Pistorius sat with his head in his hands as Nhlengethwa spoke.

"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."

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