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Pistorius bail hearing closes, verdict due at 2.30pm

Sapa

Court testimony in Oscar Pistorius's bail application has ended and the magistrate is due to give his ruling later on Friday afternoon.

Oscar Pistorius will hear if he has made bail later on Friday. (Felix Karlsson, M&G)

Magistrate Desmond Nair said he would hand down his verdict at 2.30pm.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said in his closing statement on Friday that crying by Oscar Pistorius was expected.

"It is a possibility that after shooting someone, one starts to feel sorry for themselves," said Nel, as Pistorius's sister Aimee shook her head and put her hand to her mouth.

"That I am going to spend days in court, am going to jail and my career is gone ... We say that is spontaneous defence."

He said that might have been part of his planning – either by the defence, or pre- or post murder.

Magistrate Desmond Nair stepped in and questioned Nel's line of argument.

Nair asked: "If it's premeditated, could the plan have included moving the furniture in the house [to make it look like a real burglary]?"

He wanted to know why Pistorius did not break a window to prove a burglar or remove the dogs.

"I'm not saying the murder of Reeva Steenkamp was planned weeks or days ahead. We say it was planned on the night," said Nel.

"I don't have evidence he planned it [the murder] two or three days before the shooting," said Nel, with Pistorius's family visibly upset.

Earlier he said that it could not be a coincidence that witnesses said they heard a woman's screams before Steenkamp was shot dead.

"Are they lying? Why would independent people lie?" he asked.

'Horrific'

The degree of violence in the death of Steenkamp was "horrific".

"We say that the degree of violence present in this case is horrific," Nel said in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court as he opposed the granting of bail for Pistorius.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of Steenkamp after she was shot dead in a toilet in his home. He has not pleaded but said in an affidavit he thought there was an intruder in the house when he fired into the toilet cubicle.

 

 

Nel said that the court should not do "lip service" to reduce crime against women.

"Even the president said in his State of the Nation address we should prioritise violence against women," said Nel.

He mentioned the recent gang rape and murder of Western Cape teenager Anene Booysen. This was in response to Magistrate Desmond Nair asking Nel to give evidence on violence.

'Protected too much'

Nel said the court must know how many cases of murdered women were on its roll.

Being in the toilet cubicle must have been "horrific ... having four shots fired in," said Nel, as Pistorius cried while the prosecutor spoke.

Nel said there was a lot of interest in the case, with Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana also attending the hearing.

"He has been protected too much. Now there is a person dead."

Nel was referring to friends covering up for Pistorius after he had threatened someone.

The prosecutor turned to Pistorius's emotional state as the athlete started crying again.

The new investigating officer in the Pistorius case made a brief appearance on Friday.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega announced on Thursday that the current investigating officer and State witness Warrant Officer Hilton Botha would be removed from the investigating team.

Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo replaced him as leader of the team after it emerged that Botha faces attempted murder charges. – Sapa

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