Pistorius refuses to take responsibility - Nel

2014-08-07 11:10
Oscar Pistorius is seen in court before final arguments in his murder trial are heard. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Oscar Pistorius is seen in court before final arguments in his murder trial are heard. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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The differing defences for Oscar Pistorius

2014-08-07 09:30

Oscar Pistorius's defence team seems to have put forth three differing defences. William Booth, a criminal law expert, says there may be four different versions to consider.WATCH

Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius does not take responsibility for his actions and is always the victim, the State argued in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

"It became clear that the accused is incapable of taking any responsibility," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said in his closing arguments.

Pistorius "refused to take any responsibility for his actions" and was always the victim.

"He always places the blame for his actions somewhere else."

Closing arguments

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet at his Pretoria home.

Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

Nel started his closing arguments saying the State received the defence's arguments only after it filed its own.

The State filed its final arguments on 30 July, and the defence on Monday.

Nel said he wanted to set the tone and quoted one of his favourite quotes.

"I was thinking that a criminal trial is a very blunt instrument for getting to the truth," Nel quoted.

Two defences

He said the defence indicated that it had two defences for the trial but Nel said this was not the norm.

"It's not two normal defences," he said.

The defences presented by the defence were that Pistorius did not have criminal capacity and if there was it was in self-defence, he said.

"It's two defences that can never be reconciled," Nel said asking the court to choose one.

'Weak' performance

He said Pistorius gave a "weak performance" during cross-examination and his version should be rejected.

"If one rejects his version of what happened that night then there was no perceived intrusion," Nel said.

He said Steenkamp locked herself in the toilet cubicle at 03:00 in the morning with her cellphone and she was fully dressed.

It was not as if she just used the bathroom and was getting dressed, he said.

Pistorius fired four shots with a "powerful handgun" with black tallon ammunition, of which three hit Steenkamp, Nel said.

"There were only two people in the house, one was killed. And one survived."

Onus

Nel said he knew there would be an argument that there was no onus on Pistorius, but the State would deal with that.

Pistorius is also charged with three 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 these charges as well.

Nel said the athlete's discharging of a firearm in Tasha's restaurant was a "blatant disregard of the law".

The trial continues.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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