AS IT HAPPENED: Oscar Pistorius trial, day 12

2014-03-18 09:01
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 12

See pictures from inside the North Gauteng High Court as Oscar Pistorius's trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp runs into day 12.

Get the latest details from day 12 of the murder trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius. Get Monday's updates here.

15:52 - We'll be back tomorrow (Wednesday) with more updates. Cheers. 

15:30 - Aislinn Laingtweets: "Reminder: Highest bullet was the one that ricocheted, B - 104.3cm, the rest were: A - 93.5cm . C - 99.4cm D - 97.3cm"

15:26 - Court adjourns. back tomorrow at 09:30. 

15:24 - CM: Height of OP with prosthetics was 184cm and without was 155cm. His shoulder level was 156cm vs. 123cm.

15:23 - CM says he had to get height of OP to determine if he was on stumps or not when he shot Reeva.

15:22 - CM says photo shows "entrance wound" and "exit wound" on the head of the deceased.

15:21- Karyn Maughantweets: "Mangena is widely respected in the forensic community. He's also come up against OP ballistics expert in another case."

15:19 - CM says he wanted to know height of wound to Reeva hip. He's referring to photo of bruise on her chest.

15:17 - As Mangena testifies about the wounds Reeva sustained, an ANCWL member places her arm over June’s shoulders, says Barry Bateman. Steenkamp bows her head in court as details of Reeva's injuries continue to be described, says the BBC's Andrew Harding.

15:15 - I'm sure it's quite hard for June Steenkamp to hear testimony about the bullet holes in Reeva's vest that Mangena analysed. "I could find holes on right hand side, as well as body tissues," says CM.

15:15 - CM: for me to reconstruct the scene I have to see the injuries of the deceased

15:13 - Mangena says he asked for crime scene photos "so I could see how it looked when the photographer arrived".

15:13 - Mangena says magazine rack was absent when he arrived at scene.

15:11- Mangena: I requested crime scene photos, to see how it was originally.

15:08 - None of the photos being referred to have been shown in court. Not sure why. CM is talking about photos which show laser beam being shone through hole into toilet to determine trajectory. 

15:06 - CM also used a laser to establish the trajectory back into the bathroom

15:05 - CM: Angle of shots was between 5 and 6 degrees, a "little bit down"

15:04 - CM: Four shots fired, three disappeared between the door and the wall, one perforated door and wall. 

15:03 - Nel: How did you decide what size rods to use? CM: It needed to fit bullet holes so it could be measured correctly.

15:02 - CM used steel rods to illustrate and mark trajectory of bullets.

15:00 - There's another mark, bullet has hit an object and fractured but didn't break tiles, says CM. Marked G

14:59 - Quite a few empty spaces in the public gallery today. The politicians aren't interested today...

14:58 - Mangena (CM) noted bullet holes in toilet walls, including ricochet marks. Photos not being shown to court. CM: The bullet holes in the door were at a height between 93 and 104 cm from bathroom floor.

14:56 - CM says the 'door was replaced in exactly the same way before it was removed' using same screws

14:54 - CM says Wolmarans and Mr VD Westhuizen and Col Van Der Nest and Col Vermeulen were also there for the reconstruction of crime scene.

14:53 - CM says request came from Captain Van Aardt and Van Staden took photos.

14:53 -  On March 8, he took door and went back to crime scene to reconstruct crime scene.

14:52 - Bullets came from entrance side of the door. "The bullets perforated the door," says CM. 

14:51 - CM saw four bullet holes and marked them a, b, c, and d.

14:50 - When he got the door, 'the panels were out, some of the panels were out,' so he reassembled, he says.

14:50 - CM was tasked with analysing the bullet holes and trajectory of the shots.

14:49 - Says he was asked to examine the bullet holes on the door. Says he started his investigation immediately when receiving the door on 7 March last year.

14:48 - CM confirms he received the door as evidence. It was in a body bag, he says. Says photos were taken of the door.

14:48 - On 7 March, CM was asked to take over case and reconstruct what happened.

14:47 - CM has handed in his report as evidence. OP is sitting looking emotionless.

14:46 - CM is quite soft-spoken. It's a little hard to hear him. 

14:45 - CM has worked for the police for 20 years, 19 years in ballistics.

14:45 - Captain Mangena (CM) is sworn in.

14:44 - Capt Chris Mangena expected to testify about sequence of shots sustained by Reeva, where they were aimed etc, says Karyn Maughan.

14:42 - The witness is Chris Mangena. Judge overrules Nel.

14:41 - Nel says next witness is very technical. The ballistics expert. Nel wants to start and finish him off in one sitting. So asks to call him tomorrow rather than start today. 

14:40 - Van Staden is excused. Much to his relief, I'm sure.

14:40 - I concentrated on the crime scene itself, says VS.

14:39 - VS says he can't identify gloved hand in picture taken by Motha. Roux: it shows he wasn't alone.

14:38 - Roux asks about time of photo. VS says it 06:03. This is a photo the bathroom window. There's a blue gloved-hand pointing towards the window in the photo. Roux asks whose hand this is.

14:37 - Nel finishes re-examination. Roux is back.

14:36 - VS says the door was inside a body bag with zip sealed up. He took photos of the door and handed it over for forensic analysis.

14:35 - VS collected the door from Van Rensburg.

14:35 - VS seized the bat, sealed it in forensic bag and took photo of it inside bag then put in safe place in office. VS: I then sent bat to forensic lab for analysis.

14:34 - Nel says he has new evidence he wants to lead in regarding collection of bat and door. Roux appears to be smiling.

14:32 - Nel: Verification on CDs...who did that? VS: The admin clerk.

14:31 - Nel: Let's give Mr Roux the benefit of ANY doubt... the bat was moved wasn't in a different place? VS: no

14:30 - Nel shows that the bat was not moved in the early disputed pictures of the cricket bat.

14:27 - Nel is now putting it to VS that on the 14th (February) the fan was moved. VS says he didn't change the scene.

14:26 - 

14:23 -  Nel: Was there an agreement between you to keep out of each other's photographs? Van Staden: No.

14:22 - Nel asks about a photo of the hole in the door (bedroom door, not the toilet door as previously thought). VS confirms he took a photo of the hole on 14 February last year at 12:06.

14:20 -  Nel asks VS what he gave defence. Says he gave all original pics on file.

14:20 - Nel asks Van Staden (VS) if there are any photos where you can see Motha? VS: no

14:19 - Roux has no further questions for Van Staden who, I imagine, is rather relieved. Nel examining VS again.

14:17 - VS now seems a bit agitated.  He again says he consulted with Vermeulen on what photos to includes in album. They worked together to decide what goes into the album.

14:15 - My understanding is, Vermeulen told you what he wanted in the album and you just obliged, Roux tells VS. VS responds by accusing Roux of playing with words, denies that Vermeulen told him what to put in albums. He says they consulted.

14:13 - VS says he can't say Vermeulen didn't deem the photo of the top mark important, didn't include in album.

14:13 - Roux hands in photo... Why did those photos not find their way into your album or into Vermeulen's report, he asks VS.

14:10 - Roux says he's trying to understand something about the bat photos. He's speaking rather slowly. As he often does. Roux says the ballistic expert of the defence pointed out the third mark which is consistent with a cricket bat mark. 

14:08 - I consulted with Col Vermeulen and he told me which photos he'd like in the photo album, VS tells Roux.

14:07 - VS says he can't find bat test photos in his file.

14:06 - Judge Masipa: "Should we not allow the witness to go to the door to look?" VS peruses his file in front of rebuilt door...

14:03 - 

14:00 - Roux showing VS the toilet door and asking whether he took photos of Col Vermeulen's markings on the door.

13:57 - Roux calls up Colonel Vermeulen's statement regarding the door. VS: more photos are taken during the investigation but I use my own discretion when selecting photos for the album.

13:56- VS: I received an order from my superior to keep them in my possession.

13:54 - Roux: why did you keep the photo data in your cupboard and not follow the normal procedure.

13:52 - Roux asks about the watches. Van Staden says watches were still there in first picture taken (around 06:00). Watches were not seen in a later photo (taken around 13:00).

13:51 - Roux says Motha's times accord with Van Staden's on the meta data.

13:50 - Another pic, taken at 06:03, shows cellphone not yet picked up.

13:47 - Roux focuses on photo 106 which shows a close-up of the iPhone being held by someone wearing a blue surgical glove.

13:47 - Court resumes. Roux picks up on the "meta-data" again. 

13:03 - Court adjourns for lunch. Proceedings resume at 13:35

13:01 - Roux questions VS on the missing watches. Asks VS to do various things during the lunch adjournment to expedite proceedings.

12:58 - Why didn't you take a wider lens to take a close-up of the watches. VS: its in the album my lady. Roux repeats I'm looking for a close-up photo....according to you when did watches go missing?

12:55 - Roux asks VS to describe another photo of a toilet door. Roux: why did you not take a close-up photo? can you see a mark on the bottom left-hand side? VS: the photo reflects the damage on the door and the tile itself.

12:53 - Roux questions VS on his actions as a professional photographer and why he bothered to take pictures after items have been moved. Roux: did you unpack the gym bag to take pics. VS: only afterwards

12:50 - Roux showing photos taken of magazines at the left-hand side of the bed...Now referring to sandals that were moved during the investigation. VS does not know but admits to moving a gym bag.

12:46 - Roux refers to another picture of the same area taken at a later date and which shows disturbance. Specifically a disc which now appears in the photograph. Roux asking who moved various object - cd, remote, fans. VS: i don't know.

12:43 - Roux asks what VS was trying to show by taking a picture of the r-side of bed with tissue box, cables and remote. VS: just evidence

12:42 - Van Staden says when he came in from outside, he heard Motha had made gun safe. 'I reprimanded him and asked him to leave.'- Alex Crawford

Turns out Motha was officer who handled gun without gloves. Van Staden says he berated him, told him to leave scene. - Karyn Maughn

[Motha also took photographs at the crime scene]

12:38 - Roux asks why VS took a pic of the door panel laying on the floor. V Staden took photos of plank in bathroom that could be moved, Roux says it looks same at entrance door. VS: not same.

12:37 - 

12:34 - Roux shows VS further pics which VS did not photograph at the time. VS gives similar reasons for not photographing them i.e. that they are immovable.

12:30 - Roux shows VS a door [to the main bedroom] with a hole in it. Roux asks why he did not take a photo at that stage. VS: I use my discretion, it was a hole that cannot be moved. Roux: this hole could easily have been changed.

12:29 - Roux: what did you take with you when you went to take photos? VS: camera, bad, notebook, perhaps a pen.

12:26 - Roux asks VS where he was betw 06:50-07:55. Roux: i can tell you [with a smirk on his face]

12:24 - Roux shows a picture of a firearm and asks VS to read the caption. VS: “firearm... after it was made safe by Constable Msiza.”

12:21 - Roux asks when other officers went into the bathroom. VS says he cannot answer as he was outside. Roux: who is warrant officer Shubane? VS: don't know. Roux enquires about trainee officers at the crime scene.

12:18 - Roux prepares to show VS more of his own photos. VS appears rattled.Roux shows a pic of the bathroom taken from the outside by VS. Roux: who is in the bathroom? VS: I can't identify the person.

12:15 - Graphic pics shown to the court now 

12:12 - Roux going through various times and asking VS where he was. VS responding that he was in the bathroom. VS agreeing having taken photos at the same time as when Colonel Motha was taking photos in the bathroom. VS says he did not see Motha. Roux: how big is the bathroom? [giggles in the courtroom]

12:11 - 

12:07 - Roux shows a pic of the passage leading into the bathroom. VS agrees with Roux that he and Motha were in the same passage at around 06:00. Roux: is it your version that you did not see him in the passage? VS: yes

12:04 - Roux now showing some of Colonel Motha's photos. It's photo from main bedroom balcony looking onto garden. Roux: tell the court where you were? you were in the passage and Motha was on the balcony. VS: in the passage leading into the bathroom.

12:04 - 

12:00 - Roux says the photos are fine but the numbering is strange.

11:57 - Roux going through the slides which relate to VS work in the bathroom.VS: there are other photos of the toilet too. Roux: at 06:14 you are back in the bathroom.

11:55 - Roux continues with times and how VS moved in taking photos up to the point where he moved into the bathroom. VS: we have to look at all the pics that were taken originally. VS: the times these pic were taken correlate.

11:53 -

11:49 - Roux tracking the times VS took pics in different areas of the house. Photos of the deceased were taken at 05:23. Roux accuses VS of mixing the photos out of sequence. 05:30 came back to take more pics of the deceased.

11:48 - Roux looking for the document summing up the timeline of photographs taken by VS.

11:47 - Roux emphasizing the first time VS took photos in the bathroom. VS insists all the pics and meta-data will have to be looked at. Roux suggests betw 13:00-14:00?

11:46 - 

11:43 - VS suggests the court look at all the camera meta-data. Roux says that he first went to the bathroom at 06:45 [?]

11:42 - Roux says a colonel Motha was already taking photos from 05.56. Lt Col Motha is from the Ballistics section of the Forensic Lab in SAPS.

11:39 - Roux asks about VS's commander Colonel Makapula. Was he present when you took the pic? Roux grilling VS on his answer: as far as I can remember he was at the scene. Roux: Colonel Motha was he there? I want you to listen carefully what I put to you...

11:36 - VS can't see what Roux is referring to...Roux trying to point out differences between the photos. VS agrees. Roux: I'm going to ask you again....when you took the pics are you sure you were alone up there? VS: yes

11:34 - Roux: on this photo the mat is again different. VS asks for confirmation of the pic data and which album, slide number. Roux: all I want to know...I'm going to point out something in your evidence...just assume...

11:33 - Disagreement - Masipa says the witness may know nothing about it but gives provisional allowance to Roux.

11:32 - Roux refers to photos not taken by VS. Nel objects. Roux argues that it is still police photos. Roux: bare with me my lady.

11:30 - 

11:29 - Roux asks to talk to the pic operator regarding 'sensitive photographs'

11:25 - Roux asking VS to look at pics of the gun. Closely observing the gun butt. Roux: who changed the gun? VS: the mat could have been changed. Roux: who put the wooden splinter on the butt? VS: it may have been a transferred when I took the photo. Roux: who moved the mat? VS: could have trampled on it while taking a photo.

11:22 - VS: Hilton Botha left the bathroom with cellphones. Roux asks when he was alone and when others were around him.

11:20 - There is a misunderstanding about interpretation of front and back of the bat. Nel object that Roux's questions are inappropriate and 'ridiculing'. Judge Masipa agrees, Roux can't argue with the witness.

11:19 - Roux: have you ever played cricket? VS: no Roux: have you ever watched cricket? VS: yes. Roux: have you ever seen them hitting the ball with the backside? VS: no.

11:17 - Roux repeats VS statement and asks what part he photographed....refers to a photograph which shows the front of the bat. VS: we have to understand that I regard the front as the back.

11:14 - Roux reads VS statement: I turned the bat over to photograph the back part. VS: the position in which the bat is lying is the same position I found it in. Nel objects: we need to read the full cannot just read one sentence. 

11:12 - Roux alleges the bat was moved. VS agrees it was moved...someone must have moved it.

11:11 - Court now looking at picture of bat and towels on the floor.

11:09 - "Roux refers to two pictures where the captions state that items have been moved in the scene," tweets Barry Bateman.

11:07 - Roux taking the court through photos and actions documented by VS as items being moved.

11:05 - Roux: who is Brig. Ras? VS: Van der Nest's commander. Roux asks if VS saw the bail app statement.

11:04 - Roux: did you take the blood spatter expert around the house? VS: I took Van der Nest around the crime scene and showed him the blood.

11:02 - Roux: when did blood spatter expert Van der Nest arrive at the scene? VS: 14:57 on the 15th

11:01 - 

10:59 - Roux: did you take pic of the PR [residue test] tests you did on Mr OP? VS: no

10:58 - Roux: i.e. you kept 16 discs in your possession?

10:57  - VS: I received an order from my provincial commander...all master copies should be kept by me. I locked the copies in a cupboard in my office.

10:56 - Roux wants to understand the process to obtain the master copies. VS: I needed to get authorisation from my superiors.Its is kept by the admin clerk.

10:54 - Nel says VS's data comprises 16 cd's and apologises for the delay. Judge Masipa says the court won't be breaking for tea.

10:54 - Court has resumed on day 12 of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

10:46 - 

10:45 - Charl du Plessis has tweeted that Van Staden is in the witness box area.

10:42 - It's almost teatime and court is yet to begin day 12's proceedings.

10:40 - Watch a summary of OP trial day 11's court proceedings here.

10:35 - Attorney, Paul Jacobson speaks to Bongani Bingwa about Social Media and the Law, watch the interview on -

10:24 - "Yep.....still waiting. Court not started yet. Lots of restlessness on the benches now," tweets Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford.

10:14 - 

10:08 - Recap from yesterday: Barry Roux has asked warrant officer Barend van Staden to bring to court the the original flash disk with crime scene pics as well as the PR kit used.

9:50 - "Today's court session is delayed. One of the orderlies said the witness, Bernard van Staden, is running late," tweets eNCA reporter Dianne Hawker.

"Waiting for Bernad Van Staden the photographer Apparently he still has to get the "flash" with the original pics," tweets @courtchatter

9:45 - According to twitter reports court proceedings are running late...Judge Masipa in chambers with counsel 

9:41 - 

9:39 - 

9:35 - The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel features round-the-clock coverage of the trial. Meet John Webb and the team of reporters who are on the ground at the North Gauteng High Court -

9:19 - According to a tweet by reporter Barry Bateman  "Arnold [Pistorius] says he offered June [Steenkamp] his condolences. He had tried before and was unable to. He used this opportunity".

9:16 - In her latest opinion piece for the Daily Maverick, Rebecca Davis asks: Where’s our debate on gun control? 

9:14 - 

9:11 - Oscar Pistorius Day 11 Review  - Watch.

9:05 - Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux will continue cross-examining crime scene photographer Barend van Staden today.

Yesterday Van Staden testified that he made a total of 15 photo albums relating to the crime, including Steenkamp's post mortem, the blood spatters throughout the house, and of the alarm system and the contents of a small safe in Pistorius's cupboard. Read more here

8:59 - "June Steenkamp (Reeva's mother) arrives a short time later but OP is talking to his lawyers, doesnt notice," tweets reporter Alex Crawford.

8:54 - The Daily Maverick has published an interesting opinion piece by Stephen Grootes: The Oscar Pistorius trial – and the language Apartheid it reveals. Read it here.

8:51 - 


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

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