Oscar tells love story in court
Murder accused Oscar Pistorius was at pains to tell the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday that he and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp cared for each other.
FILE PICTURE: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen at the high court in Pretoria on Monday, 7 April 2014. The athlete is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp whom he shot dead through a locked toilet door at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder. Picture: Deaan Vivier/Media24/Pool
“I obviously cared about her,” said Pistorius as his lawyer Barry Roux SC asked him to read extracts of over 1700 WhatsApp messages sent between the two to counter the argumentative tone of four of the messages.
In the messages they greet each other in the mornings, he says he wishes he could “tuck her in” at night, he asks her not to go running in an area he considers unsafe.
They were looking at furniture together after he put in an offer for a house in Johannesburg, to be closer to the law graduate and model that he shot dead through the bathroom door of his home in a security estate in Pretoria. He has said he mistook her for an intruder.
He said she understood the pressures of his life as an athlete — the training, the diet, the media attention, and she was supportive.
He was under “general pressure” because of his fitness training as a paralympic athlete, financial pressure after purchasing a new home and pressure from the media.
“I don’t think it’s easy for someone who hasn’t dated a sportsman to understand how strict our diet and our way of living is,” he said.
“She did get the way I had to live healthy,” he said, referring to a text in which she said she would help make him healthy.
In turn, Steenkamp’s texts tell of stress about finances, signing with a new agency, and hate mail because she was dating Pistorius.
He explained that his last correspondence with his previous girlfriend Samantha Taylor was by email in which she “confessed” to sleeping with a man she was seeing while he was at the Olympic Games.
After that Taylor kept messaging him asking that they reconcile but he ignored them.
He met Steenkamp on November 4 and they went to the SA Sports awards together the same day, which Taylor previously told the court was when Pistorius cheated on her.
Pistorius said that after the sports awards, he and Steenkamp spoke about the possible media fallout. The next day he was called by the press about Taylor and he was named as a “player” and a “rondjagter” in the media.
Steenkamp was also compared to Taylor in the media.
He did not reply to any journalists trying to contact him and told Steenkamp she “knew what was right”.
“She struggled with it because she never dealt with that level of attention before,” he said.
Fake Twitter accounts were set up about her.
“When I said she could stay with me it was a weight off her shoulders. We were looking to make a future together.”
Roux asked Pistorius to clarify the term “Boo” which appears in their texts.
“It’s a sign of endearment used by young people sometimes, a nickname,” said Pistorius.
Pistorius is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts 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 charges.