I did not change the scene - cop

2014-03-18 15:27
Police photographer Bennie van Staden testifies at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

Police photographer Bennie van Staden testifies at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Pistorius ignored gun rules - expert

2014-03-18 15:02

Keep your finger off the trigger until you've identified your target - that's the fundamental rule of firearms Oscar Pistorius ignored, says firearm expert Eddy Pretorius.WATCH

Pretoria - A police photographer insisted on Tuesday he changed nothing on the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's death when he took the first pictures of it.

Warrant Officer Barend van Staden was being re-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

"When you took the first photos did you change the scene?" asked Nel.

"No," Van Staden replied confidently.

During questioning by Nel, Van Staden also amended what he said to Advocate Barry Roux for the Paralympian, earlier, about the position of a cricket bat on the tiled floor of Pistorius's bathroom.

Van Staden conceded to Roux that the bat had been moved, when shown two photos of it taken from different angles.

Shown the same two photos by Nel, he changed tack.

Nel asked him to compare the position of the bat in relation to a large drop of blood near its tip, and the placement of a fragment of tile in relation to the handle, in the two photos.

"Taking into account the angle of the bat, was the bat moved?" Nel asked.

"No, My Lady," Van Staden replied.

Pistorius used the bat to break open the locked door of his toilet after he shot Steenkamp through it, apparently believing she was an intruder.

The policeman was, however, unable to explain away an argument by Roux that he and a second policeman were on the scene at the same time, in the same room, taking photos around 06:00 on 14 February last year.

Van Staden had insisted he was alone.

As Nel went over the matter again, Roux looked on from his chair, smiling.

"How did you miss him?" Nel asked, referring to the other officer.

Van Staden hesitated before he said: "My Lady, as I testified, I was alone in the bathroom when I took the photos."

Van Staden is attached to the photography section of the Local Criminal Record Centre. He had been with the centre for 12 years, and in the police for 21.

After Van Staden was excused from the witness box, Nel asked the court to adjourn so he could begin questioning blood spatter expert Colonel Ian van der Nest on Wednesday morning.

Judge Thokozile Masipa declined his request and Nel called ballistics expert Captain Chris Mangena to the stand.

Pistorius has been charged with premeditated murder and contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He has denied guilt on all charges.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.