Couple believed Pistorius had been shot

2014-03-05 11:28
Oscar Pistorius (Themba Hadebe, AP, Pool)

Oscar Pistorius (Themba Hadebe, AP, Pool)

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Pretoria - A couple who heard screams followed by gunshots coming from Oscar Pistorius's home believed that Pistorius had been shot, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Wednesday.

Under cross-examination, Charl Johnson agreed that while he and his wife had heard screams of help coming from a woman, they did not think she was the one who was shot.

"We thought the husband had been shot," said Johnson.

His evidence corroborated that of his wife Michelle Burger, who stated that the petrified screams of a woman which came from the house stopped after the shooting.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, asked Johnson: "So despite the screams, you never thought it was the woman that was in danger?"

"Yes," responded Johnson.

The couple live at the Silver Stream Estate, which is next to Silver Woods Country Estate, the complex where Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Burger, who completed her testimony on Tuesday, listened attentively as her husband delivered his testimony.

After remaining composed under the intense questioning by Roux, Burger on Tuesday crumbled and broke down in the dock, saying she could still hear Steenkamp's screams.

Witness criticised

Roux also criticised Johnson for not presenting an independent version of what he heard.

"You have not favoured the court with a strong, independent version," Roux told Johnson during cross-examination.

"What worries me... This court really is entitled... that witnesses come to court not contaminated.

"Maybe you and your wife should have stood together in the witness box," Roux told him.

Judge Thokozile Masipa intervened and addressed Roux.

"Aren't you going a bit far?" she asked.

Roux agreed and stopped his line of questioning.

He had noted "remarkable coincidences" between Johnson's statement to police and that of his wife, first State witness Michelle Burger.

The couple's townhouse is 177m from Pistorius's. Both have testified they heard screams and gunshots from Pistorius's home in the early hours of 14 February last year.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot Steenkamp through the toilet door in his Pretoria home.

In addition he is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a firearm in public.

Pistorius contends he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the toilet door.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  thokozile masipa  |  pistorius trial

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