Gerrie Nel goes for the jugular

2014-04-09 14:07

With a slight nod of the head, prosecutor Gerrie Nel today unleashed “torment” on Oscar Pistorius.

Following a screening of a video in which Pistorius is seen shooting at a Watermelon, Nel nodded curtly to a police officer in charge of court photos behind him.

“We’ve seen the effect that ammunition has on watermelon, it exploded ... the same happened to Reeva’s head, it exploded, have a look,” said the prosecutor, as a bloodied photo of Reeva Steenkamp’s head flashed onto the ten screens in court.

“I know you don’t want to because you don’t want to take responsibility but it’s time that you look at it. Take responsibility for what you’ve done.”

Aimee Pistorius shook her head, as her brother’s voice rose to a hysterical tone while he replied:

“My lady, I’ve taken responsibility by me waiting and not wanting to live my life but waiting for my time on this stand and [to] tell my story out of respect to Reeva and for myself.

“I’ve taken responsibility but I will not look at a picture where I’m tormented by what I saw and felt that night.”

Barry Roux, Pistorius’ lawyer, jumped up to interrupt, saying there was no basis for Nel trying to compare Reeva’s head to a watermelon.

Shortly afterward Nel asked for an adjournment because Pistorius was sobbing.

As soon as Judge Thokozile Masipa left the room, Pistorius turned his back to the public gallery, his shoulders heaving.

Nel walked right out of the courtroom, allowing the court door to bang shut behind him loudly.

This is the first time that Pistorius has had to confront an extremely graphic image of Steenkamp.

In the past, the athlete has retched and vomited during testimony about Reeva’s injuries, going so far as to turn the evidence screen in front of the accused off.

After Pistorius composed himself, Nel began a less dramatic line of cross-examination about apparent inconsistencies in Pistorius’ bail affidavit, his plea explanation and his testimony.

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