Nel gets no answers on Oscar's new girlfriend

2014-10-13 12:37
Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel presents his final arguments during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Werner Beukes, Pool)

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel presents his final arguments during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Werner Beukes, Pool)

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Pretoria - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel failed to get an answer from Oscar Pistorius's psychologist on whether a new girlfriend would have affected the paralympian's emotional state after the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

"I find it very strange that you're avoiding this question," Nel put to defence witness, psychologist Lore Hartzenberg during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Nel was questioning Hartzenberg about a media report that Pistorius had found a new girlfriend not long after Steenkamp's death.

"If he met somebody, would that have impacted on his emotions? Your opinion please," Nel asked.

"We never discussed it. We don't know what that relationship entailed," she replied.

Pistorius sat listening, his head cocked to one side, as Nel repeated the question, and Hartzenberg gave similar answers.

Hartzenberg said she did not question Pistorius about the matter as she only dealt with what he "brought to the table".

"He did not bring it to the therapy session," she added.

On September 12 Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder.

'I didn’t ask him'

Judge Thokozile Masipa found him guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of 14 February last year, killing Steenkamp. The State had argued he killed her during an argument.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, objected to Nel's referring to the media report about the new girlfriend.

"The State must bring evidence. It's reported in a newspaper."

Nel rephrased his question to Hartzenberg.

"As a psychologist, would the fact that there is a possibility that he found a new lady friend be important to you?"

She paused and said: "I didn't ask him."

Pistorius was also found not guilty on two firearms-related charges - illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on 30 September 2012.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  thokozile masipa  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial

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