AS IT HAPPENED: Pistorius trial - day 21

2014-04-11 08:41
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 21

See all the latest pictures from Oscar Pistorius's 21st day in the North Gauteng High Court.

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's trial is now in its 21st day. Get all the updates here.

13:39 - And that's where we'll close updates. We'll be back on Monday with more but coverage of all thing Oscar Pistorius trial will continue over the weekend. Have a good one. Cheers.

13:19 - "Nel laughing and joking with police and reporters. Has been a good week for him,"tweets Aislinn Laing.

13:15 - Watch David O’Sullivan and guests debate the Oscar Pistorius Trial on The Round Table Debate at 20:00 on Channel 199.

Week 5 of the Oscar Pistorius Trial is underway. Catch Up with daily highlights in the video gallery.

13:03 - Before adjourning, Nel said: Your perception is impossible, you never perceived someone coming shot at her knowing she's behind the door. OP: That's not true.  

13:00 - Court adjourns until 09:30 Monday morning. 

13:00 - Nel asks for adjournment until Monday morning.

12:58 - OP: I heard a noise and thought someone was coming out to attack me.

12:57 - Pistorius describes the noise he heard (prior to the shots) sounded like “wood moving”, like the “door opening”.

12:56 - There are many times when I'm haunted by what Reeva must have thought in her last moments, OP says.

12:55 - Nel: Sometimes you have to take responsibility... You cannot get away with this time and time again, pretending that you can't follow.

12:54 - "Barry Roux intervenes as the runner wipes his face and nose with what looks like a blue hanky," Alex Crawford tweets.

12:53 - Nel: Can you say Reeva didn't scream after first shot? OP: I didn't hear her scream.

12:51 - No one screamed, OP says. Nel: How can you say that? OP: Because I was there, Mr Nel.

12:51 - OP: I wish she let me know she was in there.

12:50 - You said she never screamed, Nel says.

12:49 - Absolute silence in court as Nel waits for OP to respond. At no point did Reeva shout out or scream, says OP who is in tears again.

12:48 - OP suddenly brings up an apparently similar previous incident in Reeva's life during which she locked herself in the bathroom.

12:48 - In her mind I was retreating for the bathroom, says OP, his voice wavering.

12:47 - Nel: She wasn't scared of anything. Except you. She was scared of YOU.

12:46 - Nel says it is improbable that OP would scream at Reeva to call police and she would keep quiet "she is 3 metres away". OP reckons Reeav was scared and that's why she didn't shout. 

12:44 - Nel: Your intention was to make person flee? That's correct. Nel: And when you got into the bathroom, there was no-one there? OP: Correct

12:41 - My life was in danger. The entire time I thought, I need to be careful, says OP.

12:40 - I didn't have the luxury of time, says OP. You considered that it was now the time to be quiet, Nel asks OP.

12:40 - I had to consider that there was someone in the toilet or on the ladder, says OP.

12:39 - Nel says OP "reasonably thought" that an intruder came in through the window and locked himself in the toilet. OP: I'm not sure what an intruder would do.

12:38 -  Nel if you’re inside the toilet there’s limited space to move. Pistorius agrees. It’s a small space.

12:37 - OP: I'm sorry that I made a mistake. Nel: Your mistakes are as convincing as your evidence in the way you deliver them.

12:35 - Nel: Yuor version never happened and that's why you have to keep up with an untruth. OP: I made a mistake.

12:34 - OP:  The toilet door is usually open. But it wasn't strange that it was closed.

12:33 - OP confirms he established there was no one in the bathroom at this point and he could see the toilet door was closed.

12:33 - OP says there was ambient lights outside window. It wasn't as dark as bedroom so he saw window open.

12:31 - I was 100% sure that someone was in my house, OP says.

12:30 - Nel: When did you hear the door slam? OP: When I was in the passage. Nel: What did you think?

12:29 - Pistorius: After slowly peering into the bathroom entrance, slowly went in. Not sure if someone was by the basins.

12:28 - OP: Every moment was a split decision. Someone could have attacked me with a gun or choked me.
Nel: Nobody would do that, that's a lie.

So Nel's worked a way around calling OP a liar, which the judge told him not to do.

12:27 - You shouted to Reeva and she never responded? OP confirms.

12:26 - You say you shouted for them to leave, Nel says to OP. The athlete says it was very loud.

12:25 - Nel: You knew the only way into your house from the bathroom was down that passage...

12:25 - OP: My intention wasn't to confront them. I was shouting at them to get out of my house. I was terrified.

12:23 - That's how I am, I go towards the danger, OP says.

Aimee Pistorius looks very unhappy. A frown is fixed upon her face.

12:22 - Nel: explain to the court why you didn’t take Reeva out that bedroom door. OP: I can’t.

12:22 - OP: "It's very easy to now look back and consider all the possibilities. That's not what happened."

My version hasn't changed, the state has many times, OP says frustratingly.

12:21 - Why did you not leave through your bedroom door, Nel asks. OP claims it's because of his limited movement on his stumps.

12:19 I find your instinct strange, Nel says. You didn't find it instinctual to check on Reeva, he says. OP claims his instinct told him he was making it SAFER for Reeva by facing the perceived danger in the bathroom.

12:18 - Nel: Someone coming out of bathroom would have had to walk at least five metres to get to you.
OP says he walked, not rushed towards the perceived danger. 

12:16 - If I stayed in my room, something could have happened. I wanted to put as much distance between Reeva and the danger, OP says emotionally. He speaks of someone using mace on him and Reeva.

12:15 - OP says he went towards danger to put himself between it and Reeva. Nel: If you stayed in that room, Reeva wouldn't be dead. OP says he didn't know that at the time.

12:15 - I screamed for the persons to get out of the house, for Reeva to call the police, OP says.

12:15 -  When you walked down that passage, the gun was pointing towards the bathroom. Any movement and you would have fired, Nel says.

12:13 - OP says there's a massive difference to being ready for an intruder and being ready to shoot.

12:13 - OP: "I didn't want to take anybody's life. I screamed for the intruders to get out of my home."

12:12 - Nel asks whether he released the safety mechanism on his gun. He did. Nel: 'That's why you stormed. You wanted to shoot.'

12:11 - OP says AGAIN he didn't have time to think.

12:11 - I was never ready to shoot, I was trying to see what was happening in my home, OP says.

12:10 - I could have done a host of things, but at that time that was the decision I made - OP

12:09 - Nel suggests they could both have retreated to the balcony. OP says no escape from there.

12:08 - OP says he had "many, many" thoughts going through his head at this point (though earlier he'd said he didn't have time to think).

12:07 - Nel: A reasonable person would have checked on Reeva...

OP agrees that he didn't establish if Reeva was scared.

12:06 - You were right next to her in a situation of danger, Nel says. OP says he wasn't, he was on the other side of the bedroom. I was overcome by fear, I had to keep my eye on the passage. I didn't have time to think, OP explains.

12:06 - OP says he wanted to put himself between Reeva and the intruders. Nel: So why didn't you check on her?

12:04 - Nel says OP 'invented' a discussion with Reeva.

Nel had a minute ago asked: Why didn't you mention in you bail app that you spoke to Reeva? OP: I can't explain.

OP sounds absolutely exhausted. And there might be more than a hint of defeat there too.

12:04 - Nel says if OP cared about Reeva he would have made sure she was in the bed. He denies this.

12:03 - After getting his gun, he whispered/ said in a soft tone to Reeva to get down and call the police. My intention was to put myself between Reeva and the people in the bathroom.

12:02 - OP says he had to bend down a bit to get his gun next to his bed.

12:01 - OP confirms he has a good memory up until the time he fired the shots at Reeva. Thereafter, not so good.

12:01 - Court resumes. Judge asks OP if he's ready to continue. He says he is. 

11:55 - OP walks out of court, say reporters there.

11:53 - Court adjourns to give OP time to recover. 

11:52 - Nel asks if OP is OK, not emotional. Are you getting emotional? OP, his voice breaking, says: I am. Because this is the night I lost the person I care about (that we're talking about)! I don't know why people don't understand that!

11:51 - I would have kicked, bumped the fan if it was in the place where it's displayed in this picture - OP says.

11:50 - I would have kicked the fan if it was in the position it is shown in, OP says.

11:49 - Nel even if the fans were in the position you indicated, they would have been in your way when running to the balcony.

OP: I can’t remember the fans being in the way or knocking anything.

11:48 - Pistorius says out of habit he puts his clothing on top of his prosthetic legs, he does it next to the track as well...

11:47 - Nel: Why did you put vest on prosthetic legs? OP: I usually do that.

11:46 - Nel asks about clothing towards the back of the photo. OP says it's his vest.

11:45 - The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel 199 gives DStv Premium, Extra, Compact and Compact Plus subscribers insight into the Oscar Pistorius Trial.

11:44 - Another photo of a part of the bed is shown. The fan can also be seen and OP's iPad is on the floor.

11:42 - OP: if it was on top and Col van Rensburg's evidence isn't admissible, then yes....

11:42 - Nel: Up until today where did you think the jeans were? OP: When I looked at these photos all I saw were inconsistencies

11:40 - The court says it LOOKS as if the jeans is on top of the duvet, says Nel. This would create a problem for OP's version of events, says Nel.

11:40 - OP agrees that it does appear that the jeans are on top of the duvet.

11:39 - Roux stresses he wants Nel to not state factually about the jeans. He needs to point out that it's his (Nel's) interpretation.

11:38 - Nel shows photo from another angle, adamant that the corner of the duvet is under the jeans.

11:35 - 

11:35 - Nel zooms in on the photo. It does appear the jeans is on top if the duvet.

11:33 - The state appears to have prepared a magnification of the picture.

11:32 - Court resumes. Nel still cross-examining OP.

11:26 - "For Masipa to have a problem with Nel calling OP a liar and wait this long to say it says something about her judicial style," tweets City Press's Charl du Plessis.

11:23 - 

11:12 - Court adjourns for tea. 

11:10 - Judge reprimands Nel, tells him to "mind your language". You don't call a witness a liar while he's in the box, she says.

11:09 - Roux objects and suggests the photo deception was because of the angle it is taken at.

11:08 - Pistorius dropped jeans when he heard the noise. So if police moved duvet on to floor, jeans would have had to be UNDER the duvet.

11:05 - The denim OP said he threw on the amp to cover the light is on the floor. OP says the police must have moved the jeans. Why would the police do that, Nel asks. OP says he can't explain. 

Keep in mind that if police did move items before taking that photo on 14 February 2013, they didn't know what OP's version of events was.

11:03 - OP confirms that if the bedroom looks the way it does in the police photo, with the duvet on the ground and the fan where it was, the incident couldn't have happened the way he says it does. Hence, he sticks with the line that the police must have moved items.

11:01 - So now OP says he DIDN'T whisper, he spoke in a "soft manner". Nel asks for clarity on the difference between the two.

You never waited for a response (from Reeva)? asks Nel. My whole being was fixated on the person (I thought was in bathroom), OP responds.

10:59 - OP says he didn't look at Reeva when he whispered to her to get down and phone the police. Nel asks repeatedly if he didn't ask an awake Reeva if she didn't hear the noise too. OP says he didn't. OP says hewas focused on the noise he'd heard from the passage/ bathroom area.

10:58 - Nel: you heard the window slide open. You didn’t hear the deceased get up? Nothing on the bed? Oscar: no.

OP explains what he did after hearing the noise, when he got his gun, whispering to Reeva to get down...

10:57 - Nel: You never heard the deceased get up (from the bed)? OP confirms that.

10:55 - Some confusion over where OP placed the smaller fan in relation to the bigger one.

10:54 - Photo of part of the bed and the duvet on the floor shown again. Another larger fan is seen here. Open curtains also shown. OP's collection of watches can also be seen.

10:52 - OP explains what's in the photo - cabinet with electronic equipment and fan.

10:50 - OP: I don't know what the reason was I woke up, it was warm and I couldn't sleep.

OP sounds a little afraid and tired.

10:49 - OP says the light had bothered him before. Nel wants to know why it bothered him that night. "That's not the reason why you woke up," Nel says.

10:47 - OP asked why he covered light, he says it was distracting. OP says it didn't illuminate the area. OP says it didn't but he confirms he could see the silhouette of Reeva's jeans on the floor.

10:47 - Nel jumps back to the crime scene. Photo albums being referred to again. He asks about the fans... 

10:45 - OP says he'd be more than happy to get Lerena and Devaris's version of events.

10:44 - Nel says OP was looking for trouble. OP says he was trying to diffuse the situation.

10:43 - OP: "Mr Van Der Burgh paid Mr Bachelor a sum of money. He told Mr Devaris. He then tried to extort more money. I got caught up in it."

10:42 - OP: the story was defused at the Hawks...Devaris had arranged meeting with a senior member of Hawks for everyone...

10:42 - The matter was never reported to the police. Devaris arranged a meeting with a senior police officer.

10:41 - OP denies that he threatens to break Mark Batchelor's legs. "I wouldn't be that careless. He's revered for many assault charges"

10:40 - OP: I didn't threaten him. There were many witnesses. Van der Burgh sent a legal letter. "It's clear that he wanted to pick a fight"

10:39 - Nel asks if OP shouted at Sam Taylor during argument, OP insists he didn't.

10:37 - OP goes through long explanation of argument he then had with Sam Taylor about Quinton vd Burgh. Now says he was met by Mark Batchelor as he got to Sun City.

10:37 - OP: Divaris was there, Lerena, Fresco... if anyone said Pistorius approached him, they'd be lying, he says...

10:35 - OP: He stared at me all morning, I actually felt like leaving, didn't feel like I left, I brushed him.

OP says he went up to him and said he had 'no respect' for him.

10:34 - Nel: You approached Quinton van der Burgh at a Daytona event, argued about Samantha Taylor.

OP: Van der Burgh took Taylor overseas while I was away. He’s in his late 30s, she was 19, 20.

10:32 - Nel moves onto 2012 incident where he was assaulted. The incident involved his ex Sam Taylor, Quinton van der Burgh.

10:32 - Nel asks if there was a similar incident to shooting. OP says he had been followed thereafter but not shot at.

10:30 - OP says he grew up in a family where, if an incident happened, the police wouldn't properly solve matter. 

10:29 - Nel asks OP if he remembers that his father has similar opinions about crime, the police. 

10:28 - OP asked why he didn't report the incident. OP: I didn't have teh trust in them to find out what happened.

10:26 - Nel says the incident never happened, that's why he can't remember. OP: That's not true.

Nel points out that OP remembers details such as where he turned right or left but not who he called after this incident. It's a valid point, I think.

10:25 - He says he went to a Rhapsody's and phoned someone to fetch him to take him home. But not into Rhapsody's, he waited in his car. Nel says it's not good enough he doesn't remember who he phoned after this "traumatic incident".

10:24 - Nel asks if OP has any idea why this would have happened. He says no, he was also alone in the car. He says the incident was in 2008 or 2009. 

10:21 - OP says he was in the fast lane, car came up fast behind him, he switched to slow lane and the other car slowed down. He confirms he saw a muzzle and could hear a banging noise. Then saw a muzzle flash. Nel asks mockingly: You're not tired yet?

10:20 - OP says he didn't remember seeing any other cars on the highway during shooting incident. Nel says in all probability there would have been other vehicles on the road. OP agrees.

10:19 - Nel moves onto the shooting incident on the highway, where OP says he was shot at.

Pistorius: A black Mercedes passed me. I saw a muzzle flash from the back of the vehicle. I took the next offramp.

10:17 - OP says alarm would not have gone off if someone walked out of the bedroom. He says the first sensor upstairs is near the top of the stairs.

10:16 - Nel says if alarm wasn't working Pistorius would first have had to fix it... OP: if beacons were on, no one could come in.

10:15 - OP: The window opened and the alarm didn't go off so must have been off.

10:14 - Nel: with the alarm on, people would not be able to enter your house without activating? Oscar: correct.

10:12 - Nel again accuses OP of tailoring evidence. OP: It's a habit... I don't have independent recollection of switching off the alarm.

10:11 - Judge Masipa: Important you should be all here, if you're making all these mistakes because you're tired, say so.

OP says he's able top continue. But there still seems to be tears and/ or emotion.

10:09 - Nel, in a softer tone of voice, tells a teary OP: "I'm not convinced. I think that you're trying to cover up a lie."

OP tells the judge he's made a mistake with the way he answered the question. Judge asks if he's too tired to continue. 

10:08 - OP is saying he's sorry, he made a mistake. Nel says that puts him in a difficult position. Asks if he's tired again, he needs to know if so.

10:08 - OP complains of being tired hence the confusing answers. And so OP starts crying...

10:07 - Nel just referred to himself in the third person...

OP: I deactivated it as a matter of habit, don't have recollection of deactivating didn't go off, I must have...

And Nel has picked a problem with this "must have".

10:06 - Nel: you made phone calls to Stander, to 911, then had to go down to open that process you still deactivated alarm?

10:05 -  Nel: So when did you deactivate your alarm on the night before shooting? 
OP: Before I left room to go down to open front door. Nel: This is not in your evidence...

10:04 - OP says he wasn't aware of alarm malfunction. Sometime the battery went flat but that was about it.

10:02 - Nel loudly repeats question about alarm after OP didn't get it the first time.

OP: After the work in 2010 somebody came out and checked the alarm system to ensure it was working.

10:01 - OP: If Mr Roux didn't put a question to me I'm sure there's a reason. Nel: So we'll add that to the Roux list of mistakes.

Roux wouldn't make those kinds of mistakes, Nel then says. OP says he's not saying Roux made a mistake.

10:01 - Nel: You see, Mr Pistorius, you're not listening to questions and that's a problem...

Nel: You gave no evidence about anyone working on your alarm in Feb 2013. OP: If I didn't, I didn't.

10:00 - You're now in trouble so you... give an explanation that is nonsensical. Why are you doing that, Nel asks OP.

9:59 - Nel: "Today you said you don't know who painted house." OP says they're talking about different incidents - 2010 decorating vs February 2013.

9:58 - OP: We're talking about two separate incidents, 2010 and 2012. Nel: This is now the biggest indication of you tailoring evidence.

Nel's voice rises. OP's tone stays the same. "You're getting deeper into trouble," Nel says.

9:57 - Nel says OP has changed his evidence. OP doesn't remember where. Nel says he'll "gladly" show him.

9:57 - 

9:55 - Nel asks if OP had house painted in 2010. OP: Can't recall exact date. Says it may have been 2010/2009.

9:54 - OP: They were doing maintenance at the house, sensors could have been taken off...I wasn't confident beacons were on...

9:53 - Nel: "What did you activate that night?" OP: "I activated the inside and outside alarms."So why didn't they go off in there was an intruder?

9:52 - Nel says he doesn't understand OP's alarm system. OP explains... It has internal and external sensors with back-up power in case of power failure.

9:51 - OP says he didn't follow homeowners meetings because he was often away from home.

9:50 - OP sounds exhausted. Nel asking if OP was so concerned about his safety, why didn’t he stay up to date with estate security upgrades.

9:49 - OP says he had asked builders working at his home to leave the ladder inside the garage but didn't check on 13 February 2013 that it was in the garage.

9:48 - OP says no burglar proofing on any windows in his home.

9:47 - You thought it was safe enough to to fix a broken window downstairs at your home. OP says he got the glass for the window but Nel says it had been broken for a while.

9:47 - You felt it was safe enough to leave your cars outside, not in the garage, Nel says. OP agrees.

9:46 - On several occasions security at Silver Woods was increased after security problems and issues, OP says.

9:45 - OP says he moved into Silver Woods in 2008. He confirms that there have been no burglaries at his home except for when police stole his watches after Reeva's killing.

9:44 - Nel: "Now we have it. You've been a victim of a burglary, you had items stolen from your house and you never reported it to the police."

9:44 - "When I was shot at on the highway I didn't want to go to the police station, I didn't think anything could be done about it," OP says.

9:43 - OP says: "The only crime I reported was a case against the police for wrongful arrest."

9:43 - OP says Reeva prayed for him, with him, she tried to be a better person. Nel says again it's all about him...

9:41 - Nel says questions have nothing to do with faith but with OP's relationship with Reeva. The accused understands.

9:40 - Nel moves onto importance of religion to OP. 'You've always wanted a partner that's a Christian,' Nel says to OP. He confirms.

9:39 - Nel says he's received a request from June Steenkamp... She told Nel through her advocate that OP did try to contact her. She felt it important for the court to know. Nel says he didn't know.

9:38 - Judge Masipa is in court.No reason given for the slight delay.

9:35 - Nel briefly chatted to Colonel Vermeulen... everyone is ready, tweets Oscar Trial Channel.

But still no sign of Judge Masipa...

9:32 - Pistorius (OP) "sits at the witness stand, eyes looking tired, and yawns into his hand", tweets the Guardian's David Smith.

9:28 - Pistorius " is here and sitting in the witness box, focusing by looking straight ahead again. He is a study in concentration again", says Sky News's Alex Crawford.

9:22 - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux have just vanished into the judge's chambers, says the Telegraph's Aislinn Laing.

She also says that June Steenkamp, Reeva's mother, is in court and looking "more animated, happier".

9:17 - The Paralympian also accused his ex-girlfriend and a friend of lying under oath, Sapa wrote.

"That is a lie," said Pistorius when challenged on his denial that he fired a shot out of a sunroof of a car on 30 September 2012.

"That story was fabricated My Lady, it never happened."

9:09 - Pistorius claimed on Thursday that he didn't see or hear Reeva get out of bed.

"I don't know how she got up out of bed," Pistorius told the court.

Later he said: "I don't know when she got out of bed, My Lady."

He said his back was facing the room, which was "pitch black" after he had brought a fan in and closed his specially made black-out curtains.

9:01 - 

8:38 - "Oscar Pistorius’s time on the stand is bringing out the pop psychologist in many of us, writes Rebecca Davis for the Daily Maverick.

Of course, we’re never likely to get anywhere close to the “real” Pistorius from watching him testify, or hearing the evidence led in his prosecution or defence.

The former seek to portray him as an angry, narcissistic, responsibility-shirking gun fiend; the latter as a humble, religious, respectful young man. Neither version is likely to be wholly accurate.

See a summary of Thursday's proceedings here:

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

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