Oscar still a man 'in charge', court hears

Oscar Pistorius (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)
Oscar Pistorius (Herman Verwey/Media24/Pool)

Pretoria – Former paralympian Oscar Pistorius has not been acting like a broken man, and has confronted one of the officers who investigated his murder of Reeva Steenkamp, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

“He confronted an investigator, Colonel [Mike] van Aardt directly, saying ‘please give us space and privacy, you didn’t do your job in any case’. That’s not a person who’s given up on life. That’s a person in charge,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel told psychologist Prof Jonathan Scholtz.

He was cross-examining Scholtz, who testified for the defence that further imprisonment would not serve Pistorius socially or psychologically, as he was a defeated man and had lost all hope.

Nel asked Scholtz whether, during his compilation of his report on Pistorius, he had access to correctional services documents indicating his temper tantrums. Scholtz said he did not.  

He confronted one correctional services official, a sister Mashobane, in January, Nel said.

“He got so upset with sister Mashobane that he approached her in her office. He was shaking and he banged the table.”

Nel referred to four correctional services officials sitting behind him in court - one woman and three men. Nel told Scholtz that when Pistorius walked into court in the morning and walked past the officials, he greeted all the men by hand, except the woman, sister Mashobane.  

Nel attacked Scholtz’s claim that Pistorius was kept in solitary confinement for 18 hours a day.

He said the door of his cell was open and he was free to move around in his section of the prison. He had access to a courtyard and to one other prisoner, Czech fugitive from justice and convicted criminal Radovan Krejcir.  

Scholtz said that Pistorius was fearful of leaving his cell, because someone came into his section and assaulted him. 

Nel disputed this, saying Pistorius did not complain about it. 

He said that according to the prison’s complaints register, Pistorius was a frequent complainer.

“He complained about anything. He was open to complain and he did so often," Nel said. 

Pistorius is being sentenced for the murder of Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his conviction of culpable homicide. The SCA referred the matter back to judge Thokozile Masipa to determine an appropriate sentence.

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