Avatar photo


Pistorius changed aim while firing – Nel

Murder-accused paralympian Oscar Pistorius changed his aim when firing through his toilet door at an "intruder", the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

Cross-examining Pistorius, prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked him about a noise he claims to have heard in his toilet before shooting through the door four times, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

At first Pistorius claimed the noise he heard in the toilet was the door scraping against the frame as someone was opening it.

He said when he heard the noise he fired, thinking an intruder was about to emerge and attack him.

Then Pistorius added: “In retrospect it was the magazine rack moving.”

Nel pounced: “Then I’m going to show you something.”

Displayed on screens around the court was a photo of the toilet cubicle from the top.

It shows the metal rods the ballistics expert inserted through the four bullet holes in the door, and a pool of blood around the base of the toilet.

The holes are marked A to D on the door.

“A is aimed at the toilet, if you look at the trajectory. Now, the evidence is that that bullet struck her in the right hip,” Nel said.

“Captain Mangena said she then fell on the magazine rack. C and D is aimed at where the magazine rack is. You heard the magazine rack move and you changed your aim.”

Captain Chris Mangena is the police ballistics expert.

Pistorius struggled to reply.

“I couldn’t have heard her fall on the magazine rack because according to the State’s evidence one of the shots missed.”

“I don’t know what you’ve answered,” Nel said.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp during an argument.

He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, saying later he mistook her for an intruder.

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.

Pistorius has also denied guilt on these three charges.


Read more on these topics

Gerrie Nel Oscar Trial Reeva Steenkamp murder

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits