Surgeon questioned on Pistorius's mobility

2014-06-30 13:00
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 34

See the latest pictures from Oscar Pistorius's 34th day in the North Gauteng High Court.

Pretoria - Although Paralympian Oscar Pistorius could fall easily on his stumps, as claimed, he moved around and fired four shots when he killed Reeva Steenkamp, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Monday.

"You said he often falls. Do you know that on that particular night he never fell? Did you not ask him what happened that night?" prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Pistorius's orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gerry Versfeld.

Versfeld operated on Pistorius as a child.

"The most amazing thing is he walked from his bedroom, with a gun in his hand to the bathroom. He fired four shots and he was on his stumps and it was all in the dark."

Limited mobility

Testifying in Pistorius's murder trial, Versfeld told the court when on his stumps, the athlete had limited mobility and needed to see to manoeuvre. If it was dark, Pistorius needed to hold onto something to move around.

Pistorius is accused of the murder of Steenkamp, his girlfriend, on 14 February last year. He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. After firing the shots, Pistorius used a cricket bat to break open the door to get to a dying Steenkamp.

Versfeld said Pistorius never explained to him the details of that morning. He said Pistorius had told him he often fell and even a dog had knocked him over.

On Monday, Versfeld demonstrated to Judge Thokozile Masipa the difficulty Pistorius had in moving, owing to soft tissue under the athlete's stumps which slipped easily. This made it difficult for him to turn or run, as he had to tread carefully to make sure he put pressure only on the soft tissue, to avoid pain.

Versfeld said it was unlikely that Pistorius striking the door with a cricket while on his stumps. He said the athlete would not have enough balance.

The court was adjourned before noon due to problems with the recording equipment before resuming again.


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