Witness: Oscar sought to shift blame

2014-03-05 14:00
Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Photo24)

Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Photo24)

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kalahari.com

Pretoria - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius asked a friend to take the blame for a gunshot he allegedly fired in a Johannesburg restaurant, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Wednesday.

"Please Darren, just say it was you, I don't want any tension around me," State witness Kevin Lerena recalled Pistorius as saying at the time.

Lerena, questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, was referring to Darren Fresco, who was with Pistorius and himself at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch, in January 2013.

"I don't know for what reason, but a gun was passed under the table," Lerena said.

Fresco passed the gun to Pistorius, saying "I'm one up", said Lerena.

Questioned by Nel on what this phrase meant, Lerena said that there was one bullet in the chamber.

"A shot went off in the restaurant, then there was just complete silence.

"I looked down and where my foot was there was a hole in the floor. I wasn't hurt or injured but I had blood on my toe," said Lerena.

"I was in shock."

He said Pistorius then apologised and asked if everybody was okay.

Court adjourned for lunch early and will resume at 14:00.

International media

It is unclear how the media found out about incident. Lerena said he had never told anyone about the incident.

"I never spoke about it again. On the 16th [February 2013] I had over 100 phone calls from the media," Lerena told the court.

This was just two days after Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

Dressed in a black suit, a white shirt and red tie, Lerena said international media was reporting that Pistorius had in the previous month shot him in the leg.

He was then contacted by the police who wanted to confirm the reports.

Lerena said he told the police the reports were false as he was not injured during the incident.

Pistorius took notes as Lerena spoke of the incident. The State was expected to start cross-examining Lerena later in the afternoon.

The buff, dark-haired boxer was the fourth witness to testify as the trial moved into its third day.

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