AS IT HAPPENED: Oscar Pistorius trial, day 24

2014-04-16 08:27

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Oscar's trial - day 24 summary

2014-04-16 15:47

Here's everything you need to know about day 24 of Oscar Pistorius's trial in the North Gauteng High Court.WATCH

Oscar Pistorius's trial is now in its 24th day. Get the latest updates here.

14:56 - ...And on that note we'll end off our live updates. We'll be back tomorrow from 09:00. Cheers

14:55 - "OP slumps against dock wall, his aunt stroking his head. He rises to embrace Roux who slaps him on the back," tweets David Smith.

14:40 - David Smith tweets "Family members hug OP and slap him on the back. He manages a smile. He appears to be holding a key fob with a grey toy attached".

14:37 - "Early adjournment so Nel can read Dixon's reports & Dixon can look for sound recording," tweets Nastasya Tay.

14:36 - Watch The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel online via live video streaming -

14:36 - Court adjourns till tomorrow at 09:30. Watch a full summary of day 24's court proceedings here:

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14:34 - Nel requests an adjournment. Roux says he is in the hands of the court...Judge Masipa asks what that means. Roux says "I'm ducking and diving"...laughter in the court.

14:30 - In the gunfire test ranger ammunition was used as opposed to black talon...problems to get hold of black talon. Mr Van der Westhuizen took photographs. Nel asks what he took photos of. RD gets agitated with Nel's questioning.."I don't know my lady," he says with a measure of irritation.

14:28 - RD was asked to interpret marks from the cricket bat on the door.

14:27 - RD analysed varnish from door and prosthesis. He found that they have the same composition. Nel asking which of the tasks RD carried out on his own.

14:23 - Nel asks when RD was at the crime scene. RD says he just had a look around to get a feel for the scene. RD was to deal with primary residues...this brief later changed. Nel not happy with the answer. RD's role changed over time. 

14:22 - Nel: You see how irresponsible it is to try and be an expert when you not

14:20 - Nel calls RD irresponsible for making inferences without expertise. "Why would you come to the High Court and you did not even read that document?" Nel asks. Nel asks again why RD did not read the full document.

14:17 - Nel told RD to open the autopsy report. To which RD responds "WHAT?"...Nel says he wants that sign of surprise on the record.

Oscar Trial Channel: Nel points out that Saayman explained precisely how the bruise was formed, but Dixon made inferences without checking.

14:16 - 

14:14 - RD refers the court to the post-mortem report. 

14:13 - Nel asks for RD's notes again...RD hands it back to him.

14:11 - Nel: we know for a fact one cannot id that mark, you did not see that mark on the post-mortem were not at the can only rely on photographs.

14:09 - Nel refers to a photograph of Reeva's wounds...asks why Prof Botha never identified the mark as a bruise. Dixon confirms Saayman, Botha, Perumal did not id as bruise.

14:07 - Nel can't find the image he wants to refer to. Dixon offers him a spare. Laughter in the court...

14:06 - Nel seemingly treats RD like a schoolchild, reminding him that he has lots to bring to court tomorrow.

14:04 - Nel disagrees with RD regarding the fact that the kinetic energy of the bullet pushed Reeva backwards."Thats something you see on TV, that's not true."

14:03 - Nel continues cross examination of forensic expert Roger Dixon.

14:03 - Court resumes

13:00 - Defence Attorney Renier Spies and Katy Katopodis discuss Oscar Pistorius’s emotional state in court -

12:55 - Public interest in Oscar Pistorius's trial seems to have waned a bit with fewer people queuing up outside courtroom GD in the North Gauteng High Court this morning...Read more here.

12:53 - "OP has sat back and watched for long stretches, but is now hunched forward in the dock again," tweets David Smith.

12:49 - Nel requests the lunchtime adjournment. Court adjourns for lunch - resumes at 14:00

12:48 - Nel shows RD the cricket bat. Bat on the table in front of RD...marks on the side of the bat were caused when it went through the door. Questioning of marks on cricket bat compared to the door.

12:45 - Nel puts to RD that as shown by Prof Saayman's findings he is wrong with regard to the bruise on Reeva's buttock - caused by the bullet and not the magazine rack.

12:43 - Nel refers RD to a pic of the sole of OP's prosthesis. Nel asks when RD got involved with the base. RD: at the time of the bail hearing. Nel jumping around with questions.

12:39 - RD's observations contradict that of Prof. Saayman with regard to wound on Reeva's hip and the wood splinters. Nel asks if Prof. Saayman is wrong or whether he [RD] may be mistaken.

12:37 - RD: i did not observe the cleaners putting excessive energy into cleaning the door with a mutton is not fibres from the mutton cloth.

12:35 - RD did not take any pics prior to taking pics of the exhibit in court. Nel sounds surprised. RD got upset on 13 March when cleaning ladies were cleaning the door.

12:31 - Nel and RD now discuss wood splinters...Nel shows RD two photographs of the marks in the door. RD: the pic were taken in court on 13 March. More photos were taken at the scene. RD becoming agitated with Nel's harsh manner of questioning.

12:28 - Nel refers RD to a photograph of the scene and witness board. Nel says it seems as if the pic has been cropped. Nel asks if RD can furnish the court with the whole picture. RD sheepishly says he will bring the pic to court. Nel asks why the full pic was not submitted to counsel.

12:26 - RD asks to consult his notes. Nel wants to know if Mr Wolmerans used a laser on the day they did measurements. RD: yes. 

12:24 - RD reminds the court that he is not a ballistics expert.

12:21 - "Dixon provides an explanation about gun barrel movement, the height and position of the shot - he doesn’t believe its accurate," tweets Barry Bateman.

12:20 - 

12:18 - Nel asking RD about his modus operandi in determing how the bullet hit the door at hole E.

12:17 - RD does not sound sure of himself...

12:15 - RD: bullet A hit Reeva in the hip. None of the bullets missed the deceased. Nel interrogates RD harshly about the bullet holes.

12:14 - Nel asks what questions he asked OP. RD trying to remember to the 'best of his ability'. Nel asks whether the state can see the notes in front of him.

12:12 - RD admits that he is not a ballistic expert. RD: I asked the accused once what his position was when he hit the door, counsel and Mr Wolmerans was present. 

12:10 - RD: to the best of my knowledge I have to heard a digitally enhanced recording where sounds were edited into a rapid sequence. [RD enunciates and speaks his words s-l-o-w-l-y]

12:09 - RD: all sounds were made by the music producer that evening. Nel says he'll repeat the question till he gets an answer.

12:07 - RD does not know if the sound engineer was an expert. Nel: have you ever heard the electronically changed version of the rapid fire of the gun?

12:05 - Nel: why did you not inform the court that night one did not work? Nel further asks if a music producer or a sound expert was used. "Mr Dixon, be an expert and assist the court," Nel asks sternly. Nel losing his cool...Judge Masipa asks Nel to restrain himself.

12:03 - Nel asking about sound editing and if the sounds could be edited to emulate fast succession. RD: there was know design or intent on the night of the the shot to mislead the court as to the succession of gunshots.

12:00 - RD does not know who fired the shots the second time. RD heard the night one gunshots at the range. RD not sure how many shots were fired...maybe 6-8...the gun was jamming and black talon ammunition is not easily accessible.

11:59 - RD trying to recall when recordings were played to him the second happened in the high court chambers.

11:56 - Mr Wolmerans was in a supervisory capacity...organised the range and recorders. He listened to the sounds at 60m and 100m. Shots were fired by Mr Van der Westhuizen.

11:55 - RD correcting Nel so as to not confuse his explanation of the bat shots and the gunshots. Nel mockingly says he stands corrected..."I have been corrected in this court before"

11:52 - RD explaining how he struck the door with the cricket bat.

11:50 - Nel makes it clear that he is testing RD's integrity. "Mr Dixon it is serious when an expert testifies and he is not present," says Nel. Roux objects.

11:48 - Nel: what was played to us to court did not happen on one day? Nel seems sceptical...questions RD's integrity as he was not present when test gunshots were fired.

11:46 - RD knows about tests done last week at the shooting range. Mr Wolmerans used the same gun that OP used.

11:45 - Nel puts to RD that there is a decibel difference betw the gunshot sounds and cricket bat sounds. RD agrees.

11:43 - Nel highlights that the court does not know where, how the the tests were done...what equipment was used. Is this enough for the court Nel asks. RD: no decibel measurements were made.

11:41 - RD cannot remember specific differences. He did not have access to the final report. He does not have knowledge of the sound report that was prepared.

11:40 - Nel asks about Mr Wolmerans' report on the sequence of gunshots. Nels repeats [loses his patience] "what was the difference?"

11:39 - Court back in session

11:38 - EWN has posted a the clip of gunshots vs cricket bat. Listen for yourself:

11:35 - "A number of young women come up to OP's sister during the tea break to hand her letters of support and generally console her," tweets Alex Crawford.

11:16 - It’s Week 6 of the Oscar Pistorius Trial and DStv Premium, Extra, Compact and Compact Plus subscribers can keep up with court proceedings on Channel 199 -

11:15 - Court adjourns for tea.

11:14 - Nel: for an expert, it is worrying that I have to ask a question three times.

11:10 - RD explains that he and Mr Wolmerans was a team and had different duties as such. Nel pounces, asking why he is answering about a team..."were you anticipating a question," Nel asks. RD is clearly rattled. 

11:07 - RD buckling as Nel presses him on the reports he has written. Nel further criticises loose notes in front of him as opposed to a full report.

11:05 - Nel taking RD through the reports he has written asking which of it he has written.

11:02 - Nel asks RD to list reports. RD lets out a heavy sigh. This does not look good...Nel seems set to dwell on RD's lack of confidence.

11:01 - Nel: Have you drafted the report for your evidence? RD: yes

10:57 - Nel asks if RD did a physical match betw the cricket bat [exhibit] and the the door. RD says no. He used 'a' similar cricket bat. RD launches into a long explanation...Nel asks again and does not sound impressed with RD's answers.

10:56 - RD explains about his geology experience in maps and illustrations.

10:51 - Dixon does not know how blood got onto the door panel. RD views himself as an experts on marks analysis. Nel asks about proficiency tests...yearly at forensics labs...RD did his last test in 2011/12.

10:50 - RD seems to be getting agitated as Nel continues in attempts to discredit his expertise.

10:50 - RD has received no training in blood spatter analysis

10:48 - "Dixon admits he didn't do tests on socks - but only saw photos and made deduction. Nel jumps on that," tweets Andrew Harding.

10:46 - Nel: did you do analysis on the fibres on the toilet door? RD: I looked at it under a microscope.

10:44 - Everyone wore ear protection - RD...he did not wear ear protection when he struck the door with the cricket bat. RD says his ears 'echoed'.RD used his eyes for light tests.

10:43 - RD now detailing who helped with the sound tests...includes the wives of some of the officers.

10:41 - Nel: are you a sound expert? RD misunderstands the question..."I believe that I have given sound evidence". Nel: what expertise have you used?

10:40 - RD lets out a heavy sigh after a long winded explanation. Nel asks if he remembers what the question was.

10:37 - RD reconstructed a logical sequence of events based on the other experts' reportes. RD emphasises that he is not a ballistics expert....explains how being a geologist could help to reach conclusions.

10:36 - Nel: you have to show the court how you came to your conclusions...the process you followed.

10:34 - Nel: I see that you are not currently affiliated to any forensic body. Nel clearly interrogating him about his qualifications...difference betw and expert witness and a layman.

10:33 - Nel speaks very loudly...asks about RD's qualifications...geology etc. RD explaining what kind of work he current does at Univ of Pretoria geology dept.

10:32 - Court hears gunshots at 60m and 180m. Roux has no further questions. Nel is next up.

10:31 - Court is silent as sounds are played.

10:30 - Roux now plays to the court sounds of a cricket bat hitting a door at 60m...and then 180m...Nel objects both were done at 60m.

10:27 -  Oscar Trial Channel...Dixon: I think deceased was falling, four shots in rapid succession...head ended up on toilet bowl...

Alex Crawford...Dixon says he believes there were 4 shots in rapid succession and bullet hit head as she was falling, landing on mag rack

10:25 - Reeva's arm experienced something similar to an instant amputation -RD. Force of the bullets forced Reeva back into the toilet cubicle.

10:22 - RD: the body was closest to the door with the hip wound...also with the arm wound...instability because the pelvis was shattered...the force of bullet energy would have pushed her back...she fell and turned.

10:19 - "Dixon says he believes Reeva was standing close to the door at an angle (rather than facing door as Nel sd) with arm out," tweets Alex Crawford.

10:18 - Reeva's arm was reaching for the door handle when she was hit - RD

10:17 - RD: postion of wood splinters on the arm...I expect that the deceased was standing close to the door. RD gesticulating and showing how the bullets would have struck Reeva.

10:14 - Roux asks RD about secondary missiles [wood splinters]....pattern of wood splinters...

RD: it’s not improbable that the bruises on the back were caused by ricochet, but impossible - logically, it can’t happen.

10:12 - Take a look at the impact the Oscar Pistorius Trial has had on social media -

10:11 - Oscar Trial Channel says Pistorius retched loudly as Dixon meticulously detailed the reaction of the four bullets after hitting the deceased and wall.

10:10 - After hitting Reeva's skull RD expects the bullet to have hit the wall.

10:09 - RD now discussing the weights of black talon ammunition OP used.

10:07 - "OP has buried his head in his lap, hands clasped around his ears as Dixon talks of what bullets did to his girlfriend," tweets Alex Crawford.

10:06 - 

10:01 - Mr Kruger from OP's legal defence looking towards the wall as RD does an active demonstration to prove the the bullet ricochet could not have caused the bruises on Reeva's back.

9:59 - Roux hands RD an A4 photograph so that he can demonstrate on one of the defence councel members' backs how the bullets hit.

9:58 - "Dixon says the nature of the bruises on Reeva’s back could not have been caused by a projectile, which would have been jagged," tweets Barry Bateman.

9:55 - RD sketching various scenarios in terms of bullets heights...can't understand how the projectile could have changed direction.

9:51 - RD going into detailed bullet physics to determine if Reeva fell onto the magazine rack. The court looking at a detailed ricochet trajectory diagram.

9:49 - "Dixon explaining the science behind why he believes marks on Reeva's back were not caused by bullet ricochet," tweets Karyn Maughn.

9:46 - Roux stops RD mid explanation...RD elaborates: the bullet must have hit the wall side-on...analysis of the mark picked-up copper and lead...bullet was intact when hitting the wall. Very technical evidence given.

9:44 - RD explains about heights of bullet holes and possible trajectory of bullets from door to toilet.

9:42 - Roux shows RD a picture of door with bullet holes, asks him to explain.

9:41 - Roux continues his cross examination of forensic geologist Roger Dixon.

9:40 - Masipa has granted the state's application for postponement.

9:37 - Judge Masipa has ruled on the postponement of court from tomorrow [Thursday] to 5 May. The court has not expected the trial to go on for so long...the record runs into 2000 pages with technical evidence...Masipa and assessors will study the record during the break.

9:37 - Court resumes for day 24 of the OP trial.

9:34 - According to POWER 987 News the overflow room at the North Gauteng High Court is empty compared to the days when OP testified.

9:29 - Oscar Trial Channel says Dixon is back in the witness box as we gear up for day 24 of the OP trial. June Steenkamp is back in court today.

9:25 - EWN reporter Barry Bateman  has spotted Pistorius' neighbour, Johan Stander, in court. Stander was the first person OP called after killing Reeva.

9:22 - Judge Masipa will today respond to the state's request for postponement of trial proceedings till 5 May, tweets Karyn Maughn.

9:18 - Loyal blade runner supporters outside court today...

9:17 - OP in the courtroom conferring with his legal team, tweets Alex Crawford. Pistorius trial day 24 starts in about 15min.

9:10 - Watch a full summary of day 23's court proceedings here: 

9:09 - 

9:04 - Former police forensic expert Roger Dixon is expected to continue his testimony in court today.

Dixon said he had conducted sound and vision tests that contradicted testimony from Pistorius's neighbours, who told the court they heard a woman's screams followed by gunshots. Read more here.

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

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