First cop ignorant about Pistorius' toilet window

2014-03-14 13:11
An aerial view of Oscar Pistorius' house where Reeva Steenkamp was killed. (File, AP)

An aerial view of Oscar Pistorius' house where Reeva Steenkamp was killed. (File, AP)

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Pretoria - The police officer who did the first scope of the crime scene where Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp did not notice the toilet where she was shot had no window.

This emerged in Pistorius's murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court where former Boschkop police station commander Giliam van Rensburg faced his first round of cross-examination by Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius.

He said when he went into Pistorius's bedroom he saw the curtains were open and he moved a silver fan to get on to the balcony.

He and Warrant Officer Hilton Botha had followed a trail of blood up the stairs and into the bedroom.

Van Rensburg and Botha have since resigned from the SA Police Service.

Botha was replaced as investigating officer as questions were raised over his handling of the investigation.

Van Rensburg is now a sports coach after he resigned in December.

‘Very emotional’

The positioning of the fan and the curtains may form part of cross-examination to corroborate Pistorius's version that he moved it inside from the balcony before the shooting.

Pistorius said during his bail application he feared there might be an intruder in the bathroom when he heard a noise in the early hours of 14 February 2013.

Workmen had been over and he had seen a ladder against the wall previously, Pistorius said at the bail application.

Pistorius said he shot through the toilet door in the bathroom, and later realised he had killed Steenkamp.

She had been spending the night.

He bashed at the door with a cricket bat to free her and took her downstairs where she died.

Van Rensburg said earlier he had arrived at Pistorius's home at 03.45 after coming from an armed robbery elsewhere.

He said he found Pistorius "very emotional" and crying, but not unstable.

He tried to ask him twice what happened but he did not talk to Van Rensburg.

Pistorius obeyed an instruction to move to the back of the kitchen where he had been standing.

He and Botha followed a trail of blood up the steps and into the bedroom and bathroom.

He went towards the balcony from the right side of the room because the blood trails went to the left.

No window

He said he also did not see a baseball bat at the entrance to the room at first, next to the air rifle and the sunglasses cabinet.

He saw it later. He explained that as the first on a crime scene an officer sees things but is also assisting a team.

"So you discover things later," he said.

These are added to later reports.

Van Rensburg said that looking over the bedroom balcony on the morning of the shooting he did see ladders outside.

But he insisted there was no window in the toilet cubicle, just the bathroom windows.

But Roux insisted there was.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to murder, which the State alleges was premeditated and could have been during an argument.

Pistorius is also charged with contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On 30 September 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.
Read more on:    hilton botha  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  pistorius trial

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