AS IT HAPPENED - Pistorius trial, day 6; part 1

2014-03-10 08:37

Get all the highlights from day 6 of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court.


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Last Updated at 12:48
Our coverage of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, taking place at the North Gauteng High Court, continues here. Get Friday's updates here and here.

13:50 - We will continue bringing you updates from Monday afternoon's proceedings here.

13:31- OP appeared to vomit as Saayman detailed how a bullet had entered Reeva's brain, tweets Alex Crawford.

13:29 - Saayman basically said Reeva died from multiple gunshot wounds - to her head, arm and thigh.

13:28 - Ministry of Justice says Saayman's testimony can be summarised but no direct quotes, tweets Debora Patta

13:20 - Now we're hearing "no direct quotation" of Saayman either, in any reporting, says City Press's Charl du Plessis

13:06 - Reporters say Pistorius is throwing up in a bucket.

13:02- Some have asked why there's a ban on details of Reeva's post-mortem being published when this was not the case for Anene Booysen.

Others have responded that it's because there's so much more attention around this case.

12:59 - Court adjourned for lunch. They'll be back at 14:00.

12:48 - Judge's register has her hand over her mouth. She, like many other people in this court, looks nauseous, says eNCA's Karyn Maughan. Carl Pistorius has left the courtroom, says Crawford.

12:46 - All reporters in court now telling about how OP is constantly retching while Saayman gives evidence. Roux says it won't stop but tells court to carry on.

12:42- Judge now hears repeated retching by OP and stops evidence to inquire about him, says Crawford.

12:39 - OP still making regular loud retching noises, appears to be vomitting as details of post mortem are read out, says Alex Crawford.

12:34 - To clarify: We can tell you, for instance, what OP's doing in court right now. We can't tell you what Saayman is saying while testifying though. Not now. 

12:32 - David Smith has quoted Judge Masipa as saying: When I referred to Twitter, I failed to refer to blogging as well. Twitter is not allowed, blogging is not allowed.

12:30 - He's still sobbing, with his hands over his ears.

12:27 - Judge is back now. She asks if OP is fine. Roux says he's not going to be fine during this (post-mortem) evidence. It's not going to change, says Roux. He's very emotional. But carry on, he says.

12:26 - Siblings are trying to console OP but he is inconsolable.

12:24 - Oscar is throwing up. He's been dry-heaving every time Reeva's body is mentioned, according to News24's Sipho Hlongwane who is in court.

12:22 - Court has adjourned for Oscar Pistorius to compose himself. His sister and brother are comforting him. 

12:14 - Saayman has started giving his evidence but we can't tell you what it is because of the order. 

12:13 - The UK Telegraph's Aislinn Laing has tweeted: "In the absence of clarity from the judge, we'll try to update you on the Telegraph live blog but will be summarised." Personally, I think this might not be best. Agree?

12:09 - So the media went to court to secure rights, and somehow we ended up with less than we'd ordinarily have, asks Charl du Plessis.

12:08 - This might be best... 

12:04 - No live broadcast of evidence. Applies to twitter too, says judge. 

12:03 - No need to give final order immediately, says NF.

12:03 - If there is a deadlock, no broadcast of evidence, says media lawyer (NF).

12:01 - Oldwage again asking about how disputes over what can be broadcast at a later date are resolved. 

12:00 - Oldwage says when there is no consensus between media, defence and State... there is no solution

11:58 - Media lawyer doesn't want journalists tweeting banned from courtroom. Ferreira appeals to the judge to give whatever order she makes "in the clearest possible terms" to avoid any confusion and his return to court.

11:57 - NF: Objections should be reasonable, can't limit all details, like where Saayman got his qualifications...

11:56 - Judge clarifies that state and defence would look at summarised package of what the evidence has been...

11:54 - NF (media lawyer): We don't anticipate any difficulties as far as practicalities (making compromise work) .

11:53 - Evidence must be filtered, paraphrased, etc, says Nel.

11:53 - Nel: Our main argument remains that none of witness's evidence is published.

11:52 - Nel: The media would compile such a package, strict conditions... delayed broadcast. I foresee that we might have to argue again.

11:48 - Nel: We do want to clear the courtroom of reporters.

11:47 - Oldwage brings up matter of social media. No solution proposed for that. So he's asking, what if details of post-mortem are tweeted?

11:46 - Can hardly be in public interest to have this kind of evidence broadcast, says Oldwage.

11:45 -  Cannot ignore dignity of deceased and her family, says Oldwage. How does one police without appropriate sanction from court?

11:45 - Oldwage: We also heard Saayman will in much detail deal with graphic nature of injuries of the deceased.

11:41 - Oldwage wants to know details of how it is decided what can be broadcast of pathologist's evidence. What about dignity of deceased and her family, he asks. No mention of that in Ferreira's proposal. 

11:41 - Kenny Oldwage, OP's lawyer, addressing court.

11:40 - A sensible, compromised proposal, says NF.

11:39 - Media asks to broadcast summarised version of evidence.

11:38 - OP looking down while lawyer speaks.

11:38 - Broadcast media proposes that live feed be cut during GS's testimony.

11:37 - NF: Accept legitimate concerns regarding some evidence. Accept not role of media to sensationalise.

11:36 - Unprecedented levels of public interest, says Ferreira (NF).

11:36 - Media lawyer Ferreira now addressing court. Extremely groundbreaking case in terms of media, says Ferreira.

11:35 - Accept that some testimony may be made public as as it's done in controlled manner, says Saayman (GS).

11:34 - Third reason: Goes against society's morals.

11:33 - Saayman says streaming of evidence - inevitable it will impinge on rights of remaining family and relatives.

11:32 - Three good reasons not to broadcast post mortem details. Graphic details pertaining to some injuries can compromise dignity of Reeva. Our duty to preserve her dignity.

11:31 - Saayman: I'm bound by ethical rules.

11:31 - Court resumes. Advocate Nick Ferreira for the media has arrived. Saayman to address the court first.

11:25 - BREAKING: Judge rules no broadcast of State pathology report. 

11:23 - Where is justice department security, asks EWN's Barry Bateman with regards to political parties in court. "What is clear: you need to show accreditation every time you enter court, unless you’re wearing political party colours," says Bateman.

11:18 - Some members of the media wouldn't exactly be unhappy if reporters were banned from court for a bit. Phillip de Wet is one: "I'd not shed many tears if media is kicked out of OP entirely for the day. Is the sun out in Joburg? Any good movies on?"

11:15 - Oh, this is getting a bit much now - apparently members of the National Freedom Party are at court too. Singing songs for Reeva.
So thus far, we have the ANC Women's League, NFP AND the ACDP at court.

11:13 - ENCA says it has decided that however Judge Masipa rules, it will not broadcast testimony on Reeva's autopsy due to its graphic nature.

11:11 - Media lawyers are in room, chatting to defence. Looks like we could have argument fairly soon, says reporter Phillip de Wet.

11:08 - Hmm. Interesting: "The only time live-tweeting has ever been banned in an SA courtroom was the evidence of Ina Bonnette in the Modimolle monster (Johan Kotze) case," says lawyer Emma Sadleir.

11:05 - OP is now back in court. More composed. He had to squeeze past Sam Taylor, his ex, which I imagine could have been a bit awkward.

11:00 - I *constantly* claim that OP is exchanging "chilling eye-contact" but Charl du Plessiscan confirm he definitely just did with Sam Taylor's mom, reporter Rebecca Davis tweets. 

10:56 - OP just walked out and had to pass his ex (Samantha Taylor, I presume). Neither looked at each other, says Alex Crawford.

And there's this from eNCA: UPDATE: Hein Taljaard - removed from his position as OP orderly after doing interviews - has been banished to traffic court.

10:55 - OP's godmother and him have their heads bowed, holding hands, appear to be praying. Aimee is still comforting him.

10:50 - We're expecting to have representation from media lawyer arguing for right to broadcast audio of Saayman's testimony shortly.

10:41 - Brother and sister now hugging again. OP has his hands clasped round his ears again, says Alex Crawford. Taylor talks to Reeva's friends. The Guardian's David Smith says OP is struggling to contain his composure this week.

10:37 - Aimee Pistorius comforts OP, both look quite emotional, says Sky News's Alex Crawford. OP's ex Samantha Taylor is there in court too.

10:36 - News24's Sipho Hlongwanemakes a thoughtful point: "The courts are inconsistent. Remember the Marikana Commission showing videos of the miners dying, in front of grieving family? That was ok."

10:30 - Court adjourns. Nel needs a moment. 

10:29 - Nel has another witness available. Nel wants to finalise evidence of Saayman today.

10:28 - OP buries head under hands. 

10:26 - Audio of Saayman's evidence not be published. Basically wants to keep graphic details out of public out of concern and respect for Reeva Steenkamp and family. OP has just handed a note to counsel.

10:25 - Nel says Saayman has ethical issue that he wants to raise. Has graphic details about post mortem done on Steenkamp.

10:24 - State calls pathologist, Gert Saayman (apologies for previous incorrect spelling) to the stand.

10:22 - PB says he's trying to remember what he saw. BR trying to make point that PB embellished his information in second statement. No further questions for Baba. He's excused. 

10:21 - BR: We know from Friday that you were so shocked that you don't know how OP carried deceased down the stairs. PB: yes.

10:20 - In second statement, PB said OP told him that everything was fine - and called him back a minute later, crying.

10:19 - Watch highlights of week 1 of the trial on DStv Channel 199 here.

10:18 - Nel says PB made a second statement afterwards. PB now going through that.

10:16 - BR says defence will provide State with copies of statements. Much obliged, says Nel.

10:16 - PB says he was very tired that night. He gave first statement at 13:00 on 14 February after completing night shift.

10:15 - Nel now questioning PB. 

10:13 - PB now reading from his statement. PB: "He said he's ok, but he was crying." BR points out he said "he", not "everything" there...

10:11 - BR now going through statement PB made to police. PB recalls making statement.

10:10 - PB wants to know why OP didnt call security initially and why he didn't use his alarm system if he thought there was an intruder.

10:08 - If I accepted OP's word that every was fine, what would have happened then, asks PB.

10:05- PB: I called OP, he told me "everything is fine", but I could hear he was crying and the line went dead. Seconds later, OP called me back.

10:04 - BR says OPcalled Baba before he arrived at house. If OP called me first, I would have known something was wrong at his house, says PB.

10:03 - PB: I'm not sure of OP's phone numbers

10:02 - BR asks that evidence which contains phone numbers not be made available to the public.

10:00 - BR is producing a chart of phone records.

9:58 - BR says records show OP called security first.

9:56 - BR tells PB: His call was first and yours was second. PB says it's obvious "our times are not the same".

9:55 - PB: My lady, I phoned OP first. Then he called me back. It's true, he had been crying.

9:54 - Roux says call was made by OP from his cellphone to security at 03:21.33, was 9 seconds, he could not speak, only crying.

9:53 - Stipp had earlier said he didn't get through to security the first time. Roux says phone records show he did.

9:52 - BR: Are you positive you spoke to Stipp? PB: I spoke to Stipp and Nhlengethwa...

9:51 - BR shows two calls from another witness Mr Nhlengethwa... PB confirms times

9:50 - PB agrees with time of call and that Stipp made call. 

9:48 - Resident (who was on witness stand last week) Johan Stipp made call to security at 03:15.51, says BR. Stipp told security he heard gunshots, says BR.

9:47 - Roux presents a document obtained from the SAPS - calls received by security on its landline.

9:46 - OP's coach Ampie Louw is in court too. 

9:45 - BR asks PB about calls made to security by OP (Pistorius).

9:44 - Roux (BR) starts cross-examining Pieter Baba (PB).

9:44 - Judge also orders that no picture of objecting witnesses (who are not public figures) can be published for duration of trial.

9:43 - Judge Masipa grants court order allowing print media to publish photos of witnesses who are public figures once they have finished evidence.

9:41 - Print media prohibited from publishing photos of witnesses irrespective of source.

9:41 - Duty to protect witnesses until end of trial, says judge.

9:40 - Judge says character of two witnesses attacked in social media after taking stand.

9:39 - Court has duty to respect witnesses' dignity and privacy, says judge Masipa.

9:37 - Order regards witness images being used by media.

9:36 - And we've started. Judge Masipa is granting an order...

9:33 - Pieter Baba is already in the witness box. 

9:30 - More politicians are in court today. Some members of the African Christian Democratic Party are sitting with some friends of Reeva Steenkamp. Some ANC Women's League members are there too. Some might call this electioneering. Others might call it politicians being concerned. Who knows...

9:27- Counsel have arrived. Barry Roux and Gerrie Nel are having a quick chat.

9:26 - Some reporters are less excited to be at court today...

9:14 - Estate security guard Pieter Baba is set to return to the witness box for cross-examination. Take a look hereat what he told the court last Friday.

9:14 -


8:51 - Not sure if you saw this but food chain Nando's last week denied using Pistorius’s murder trial in its marketing material.

"Our attention has been drawn to fake Nando's ads doing the rounds on the internet," the group said in a statement on Friday.

"The visual identity used in these fake adverts bears a remarkable resemblance to that of Nando's and sometimes even uses the Nando's corporate identity."

8:36 - The trial is set to start at 09:30 today (Monday) at the court in Pretoria. Reporters say the city is bitterly cold and windy today. 

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