'How can this have happened?' Oscar sobs during first TV interview since Reeva's death

By Kirstin Buick
25 June 2016

"And I look back and I think, I always think – how did this possibly happen? I think, how could this have happened? How could this have happened?”

In spite of being declared unfit to take the stand in sentencing proceedings by his psychologist, Oscar Pistorius granted a tell-all TV interview to British broadcaster ITV, which aired in South Africa on Friday 24 June. "I was just drawn to Reeva," the former paralypian said, revealing what the initial stages of their relationship were like. Their relationship moved fast. The two were on their first date within hours of meeting each of other, according to the voice over on the show, airing footage of the duo walking the red carpet at a sports awards ceremony in 2012.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp during the Our Nations Pride / SA Sports Awards Gala Dinner at Sandton Convention Centre on November 04, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. PHOTO:Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp during the Our Nations Pride / SA Sports Awards Gala Dinner at Sandton Convention Centre on November 04, 2012. PHOTO: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Soon after, he was introducing the bubbly blonde to his family.

"They made each other happy," remembered Oscar's sister Aime Pistorius, who was briefly interviewed on the show.

Fast forward some weeks and it was their first Valentines Day together. Reeva had made Oscar dinner at his home in Pretoria. They talked for some time and then retired to watch TV in bed, the 29-year-old said.

She eventually got up to brush her teeth, he added, and called to him from the bathroom, "Bubba, you must brush your teeth."

Soon after, they went to sleep. But at 3am, Oscar claimed he awoke after hearing "this noise coming from the bathroom".

“It was a sliding noise of the window frame hitting the frame.”

Thinking someone was breaking in, he “immediately panicked”.

He claimed he approached the closed bathroom door, where he thought the intruder was hiding, shouting for Reeva to call the police.

"Before I know it I’d fired four shots,” he said.

Then he went back to the bedroom but couldn’t find Reeva.

“I’m screaming now for Reeva and just start screaming ‘Jesus please god, please please please please please just don’t let this be what I think it is’."

GRAPHIC CONTENT: These are the photos Reeva’s parents want the world to see

During the interview, Oscar also denied claims leveled against him by the press and by the State during his murder trial.

He said that to his knowledge, Reeva had not received a text from ex-boyfriend Francois Hougaard that night, refuting reports that he shot her in a jealous rage.

The rugby player has also previously denied sending a message to Reeva that night.

Oscar also walked on his stumps during the show, describing to investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas how unstable he was without his prosthetic legs on. He could not possible have beat her with a cricket bat, he said, because he can't even balance without the use of his hands.

Tears in court as Oscar takes off his prosthetic legs and stands on his stumps before judge

When Williams-Thomas asked about WhatsApp messages in which the duo appeared to be fighting, Oscar answered:

"Take the messages in context. What did I say to her before and after that? How quickly did we make up?"

‘I’m scared of you sometimes’, Reeva told Oscar

The interview closed with Oscar explaining how he hoped to be given the chance to redeem himself.

“I will spend 10 years in jail for taking Reeva’s life for culpable homicide,” he said he told his lawyers, “but I won’t spend a day in jail for murdering anyone”.

“I don’t want to go back to jail. I don’t want to have to waste my life sitting there. If I was afforded the opportunity of redemption I would like to help the less fortunate like I had in my past.”

“I would like to believe that if Reeva could look down upon me that she would want me to live that life.”

Unfortunately for the Oscar, he is on the cusp of being sentenced for murder, after his manslaughter conviction was overturned on appeal. He will hear his fate in the High Court in Pretoria on 6 July.

On an analysis aired on Carte Blanche after the screening, clinical psychologist Leonard Carr expressed that he was not convinced Oscar's emotional interview was not a more practised "retelling of his version of events in court."

He said that Oscar had had three years since Reeva's death to rehearse his story. "This is a public relations exercise."

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He added that the little details and terms of endearment Oscar remembers about the night before the shooting make it seem off.

"All this time on, he remembers all those details. By now, those things would have become sketchy."

Another of the panel's experts, former Zimbabwean High Court judge Chris Greenland, called out Oscar's "rather pious stance" towards the end of the interview, when he says he would serve time for culpable homicide but not murder.

It's as if he's "completely disregarding the fact that he was executing another human being," Greenland said.

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