Pistorius ‘invented’ testimony, says Nel

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius left out important evidence in his bail application and plea explanation, the high court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

He has been charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. He shot her through a locked bathroom door, claiming to have mistaken her for an intruder.

Asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Monday about the morning he shot Steenkamp, Pistorius said: "I heard the [toilet] door slamming."

Nel: "There's not a single word of that in your bail application or plea explanation. Why?"
Pistorius: "I'm not sure, my lady."
Nel: "It's because you invented it."

Pistorius testified that the door to the toilet, which was inside the bathroom, slammed after he shouted out to Steenkamp to call the police. At this time, he was armed, on his stumps, and approaching the bathroom.


"It was after I screamed to Reeva," Pistorius said.

'Get the fuck out'
Earlier, Pistorius broke down, telling the court that he also shouted out to what he thought was an intruder, telling them to "get the fuck out" of his house.

Pistorius explained that he became emotional when he recalled what he shouted at "intruders" because he was traumatised. Court had to be adjourned for him to compose himself.

Nel, who was cross-examining him, asked him why he was emotional: "Isn't it because that's exactly what you shouted at Reeva, with respect to the court, 'get the fuck out of my house'?"

Pistorius replied: "I was traumatised by the events. By repeating the words it reminds me of that night."

According to Pistorius, he first whispered at Steenkamp to call the police, and moments later shouted at her.

Nel asked why he would raise his voice when nothing happened in the interim.

"When I shouted I was hoping the burglars would be scared," Pistorius replied. He acknowledged that he never gave whoever was in his toilet cubicle a chance to leave before he started shooting at the door.

Nel: "You said, 'get out' but never gave them a chance to get out."
Pistorius: "Yes, my lady."
Nel: "You gave them no chance, you just fired?"
Pistorius: "That's correct."

'Slamming'
Pistorius agreed that he did not know how many people were in the bathroom, whether they were armed or how he expected them to get out.

"I wasn't thinking of how they'd get out," he said.

Nel asked murder-accused Pistorius why his claim that he heard his bathroom window slam open was never in his plea explanation.

"In your plea explanation you had all the facts. You understood everything that your legal team was doing?" Nel asked Pistorius. "You understood the plea explanation. You signed it?"

Pistorius agreed.

Nel pressed Pistorius on why "slamming" was not mentioned in his plea statement. According to the statement, he heard the window, which was not fitted with burglar bars, sliding open. At one point, Pistorius corrected Nel, saying it slammed against the frame, not the other window.

"You again corrected me on small detail," said Nel.

'Detail of what happened'
​Nel has pointed out that Pistorius has been able to remember some details but not others.

"It's not small detail. It's detail of what happened," Pistorius said.

In his bail application statement, drawn up before the plea statement, Pistorius merely mentions that he heard a noise from his bathroom. This prompted him to get his gun and fire four times through his toilet door.

The state alleges that he shot Steenkamp during an argument.

He is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. On September 30 2012, he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

He has denied guilt on all the charges. – Sapa

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