Witness not answering questions - Nel

2014-10-14 16:56
(File: Sapa)

(File: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - A defence witness was not answering questions put to her in the sentencing procedures of culpable homicide-convicted Oscar Pistorius, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"If you were a first time witness one would understand why you are not answering the questions... but you are not a first time witness," prosecutor Gerrie Nel told social worker and probation officer Annette Vergeer under cross-examination.

Nel said Vergeer did not answer various questions he asked her.

She told the court earlier that prisons were over-crowded and that there were global open cells in prisons that could have over 30 inmates.

Nel asked her if this applied to sentenced prisoners and she replied that it applied to awaiting trial prisoners.

When he corrected her and said he had a problem with her changing from sentenced prisoners to awaiting trial prisoners, Vergeer briefly giggled.

"You are laughing. Why are you laughing, because this is serious," Nel said.

Vergeer explained that it was her "manner of addressing or saying something" and that it not a sign of disrespect towards anyone.

The prosecutor asked her if she thought it was appropriate.

She said she felt like she was under attack and was just a human being, being asked questions.

"If I offended you, I will have to apologise," she said.

Nel responded: "It's not me. You will never offend me."

Vergeer then apologised to the court.

The court heard that Vergeer visited the Johannesburg prison 10 years ago and the Krugersdorp prison two years ago. She used this knowledge and consulted wardens and social workers to compile her report on Pistorius.

She said earlier that prisons did not cater for disabled people. She listed showers, cement floors and toilet facilities, among others as reasons.

On 12 September, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on for the Valentine's Day 2013, shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse. The court found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked door of the toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

Pistorius was also found guilty of firing a pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Johannesburg in January 2013 and not guilty of shooting through the open sunroof of a car in Modderfontein on 30 September 2012.

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

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.