Oscar was ready to shoot - Nel

2014-04-11 13:52
(Kim Ludbrood, AFP)

(Kim Ludbrood, AFP)

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Pretoria – Murder accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius removed the safety mechanism from his gun the night he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp because he was ready to shoot, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel cross-examined Pistorius and asked why after he heard a noise in the bathroom he armed himself and rushed toward danger.

"Why would you arm yourself and rush towards danger if you were not ready to shoot," Nel asked.

"You removed the safety mechanism because you wanted to shoot... If you saw something, you would've been ready to shoot."

Nel said it made no sense for Pistorius to approach an intruder he said he heard in his bathroom, citing the Paralympian's vulnerability and fear of crime.

"That's why it doesn't make sense to me that you approached them," said Nel.

"There were many many thoughts that were going through my head at the time, My Lady," said Pistorius of the events preceding the fatal shooting of Steenkamp.

Pistorius said he wanted to protect Steenkamp and did not have time to think.

"My Lady, I didn't want harm to come to Reeva so I went between harm and Reeva... If I stuck by Reeva harm would've come to her," Pistorius said.

"I didn't have time to think. I was in a situation where I had to protect Reeva and protect myself."

He said there was a difference between ready to shoot and being ready to deal with confrontation.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp when he shot her through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year.

He says he mistook her for an intruder.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

Protecting Reeva

On Friday, he said he armed himself with the intention to protect Steenkamp and himself.

However, Nel disagreed: "You armed yourself - you were ready to shoot."

Nel asked if he had been ready to take someone's life and would have shot if he saw movement or someone.

Pistorius replied: "I wasn't ready to take someone's life."

Nel asked Pistorius on why he did not first made sure where Steenkamp was before he went into the bathroom if his intention was to protect her.

Nel: "You were right next to her in a situation of danger but you didn't take the time to consult with her."

Pistorius: "I was not right next to her."

Nel: "I say Mr Pistorius, a reasonable person would've looked where Reeva was. But you didn't you just grabbed the gun.

"On your own version you did not find out if she was scared."

Nel said that if Pistorius spoke to Steenkamp the two of them could have gone somewhere together to get away from danger like onto the balcony or hid behind the door.

Pistorius said while he was screaming and shouting for the people to get out of his house and screamed to Steenkamp to call the police - there was never a response from the law graduate and model.

Pistorius did not make eye contact with Nel during his cross-examination, keeping his gaze focused on Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Nel said he did not understand why the vulnerable Pistorius moved towards the danger.

Pistorius: "If I stayed where I was, both Reeva and I would have been in danger. I wanted to put as much distance as I could between Reeva and danger."

Nel: "You didn't even make she was there or that she heard you."

He said as far as he was concerned Pistorius's version was not true.

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

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