Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
16 Apr 2014
7:00 am

Oscar visibly relieved to shake-off the ‘Pitbull’

Ilse de Lange

A clearly relieved Oscar Pistorius finally left the stand yesterday after almost six gruelling days of cross-examination by State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, aka the Pitbull.

FILE PICTURE: State prosecutor Gerrie Nel is seen during the murder trial of paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/Pool

At times, Pistorius became tearful while testifying about finding Reeva Steenkamp’s body behind the toilet door – but he did not throw up or sob as before when confronted with photographs of the bloody scene.

He hugged his sister, Aimee, after finally being able to step down from the witness box, where he broke down several times while testifying about the events on Valentine’s Day last year which cost Reeva her life.

Pistorius insisted he thought he was under attack and had fired shots at the bathroom door because he was frightened.

Asked by his advocate, Barry Roux, in re-examination, what he meant by “accident”, Pistorius answered: “The situation as a whole. It wasn’t meant to be.

“I was terrified. I feared for my life. I was scared, thinking about what could happen to me and Reeva. I was just extremely fearful and overcome with a sense of terror and vulnerability,” he said.

He said he had not consciously pulled the trigger, but pulled it before he could think.

The defence handed in the Valentine’s Day card Reeva had intended giving Pistorius on the day of the killing. It had the name Ozzy with some hearts and squiggles on the envelope.

Inside she had added: “I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you” to the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” on the card, adding her name, a smiley face and kisses at the bottom.

He became tearful when he testified how he had screamed “Reeva, Reeva” and “Jesus help me” and how he had prayed for Reeva.