How the state’s witnesses will build its case

2014-03-03 00:00

The neighbours

THE state alleges that Pistorius murdered Steenkamp after an argument.

To support this, they are relying on the testimony of Estelle van der Merwe, who lives diagonally opposite his house, about 98 metres away.

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year, she allegedly heard a woman speaking continually, which sounded like an argument and stopped after gunshots were heard.

Charl Peter Johnson and Michelle Burger heard a woman scream before hearing shots.

Johan and Anette Stipp heard shots, then a woman’s scream, then more shots.

The state says there was a shot, then silence, then three more shots in quick succession.

The ballistics

Police ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena will testify that Pistorius was further than 60 cm from the toilet door and apparently without his prosthetic legs when he fired. The trajectory of the bullets will indicate Pistorius’s position when he fired.

The state will also use the testimony of blood spatter expert Colonel Ian van der Nest.

The security guards

The state alleges that the estate’s security service phoned Pistorius after the shots were heard. When a guard asked if everything was all right, Pistorius allegedly said he was “fine”.

The state alleges that Pistorius fabricated a defence, and phoned friends, but did not call the security or the police to report the incident.

The ex-girlfriend

Samantha Taylor went out with Pistorius for about 18 months, going on holiday in the Seychelles with him in September 2012.

They broke up shortly afterwards. At the time, Taylor told Rapport newspaper that Oscar “wasn’t what people think”. She said she was ready to tell all about “what Oscar put me through”, but then decided against it.

It is expected that her testimony could be some of the most sensational.

The friend

Darren Fresco was present on both occasions when Pistorius allegedly fired a firearm recklessly in public.

His testimony will therefore be important in proving the two charges of misuse of a firearm. He will also paint a picture of Pistorius’s circle and social life.

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