'Loud voices' heard on fateful night

2014-03-04 13:52
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 2

See pictures from inside courtroom GD in the North Gauteng High Court where Oscar Pistorius is standing trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

Pretoria - Loud voices were heard the night Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria home, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday.

Estelle van der Merwe, the second witness to take to the stand in the murder trial of Pistorius, said it sounded like people fighting.

"It lasted for about an hour," said Van der Merwe.

The black-haired woman with blonde highlights in her hair testified in Afrikaans. An interpreter translated her testimony into English.

Van der Merwe lives in the Silver Wood Country Estate, the same complex where Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February last year.

She told the court: "I was irritated by the noise because I wanted to sleep and my son was going to write an exam."

‘Total silence after the shots’

Van der Merwe said she put a pillow over her head, trying to block out the noise. She later heard four shots.

After struggling to explain how the shots sounded, Van der Merwe said they sounded like "bang, bang, bang... That's the best I can do," she said.

"The shots were one after the other. After the shots, there was total silence."

After breaking down earlier as the injuries Steenkamp suffered were told to the court, Pistorius seemed to have recovered.

He was again taking notes and listening attentively to the witness.

The State will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door.

In addition, he is charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Pistorius's lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot her through the bathroom door.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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