Avatar photo


No sense to approach danger – Nel

It made no sense for Oscar Pistorius to approach an intruder he says he heard in his bathroom the night he shot dead his girlfriend, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Making this submission, prosecutor Gerrie Nel cited the paralympian’s vulnerability and fear of crime.

“That’s why it doesn’t make sense to me that you approached them,” said Nel at Pistorius’s trial on a charge that he murdered Steenkamp.

“There were many many thoughts that were going through my head at the time, My Lady,” said Pistorius of the events preceding the fatal shooting of Steenkamp.

He said after telling her to call the police, he approached the bathroom with his firearm in front of him.

“You could have done lots of other things,” said Nel listing running to the balcony as a possibility.

Pistorius denied that he was “ready to shoot” or even intended to shoot anyone as he rushed to the bathroom then slowed down, and inched along the tiles towards the noise of a window sliding open he had heard earlier.

He continued: “As I said, My Lady, I didn’t want to take anybody’s life. I screamed for the intruders to get out of my home.”

If he had not done anything, he and Steenkamp would have been in danger.

Nel: “If you had stayed within the room(bedroom) Reeva would have been alive”.

Pistorius: “I understand that, I agree with that, but that’s not a test.”

He said he was working on instinct but Nel said instinct would have been making sure Steenkamp was safe.

“My Lady, everybody’s instinct is different,” the athlete said, adding that he thought he was making things safer.

When he was getting closer at one point with his gun he was kneeling down with thoughts flashing through his mind of what could happen — someone could choke him or rush at him with a knife from the bathroom.

“So this wasn’t split-second. Now you’re thinking,” said Nel.

Pistorius had said before he knew it, he had fired four shots into the toilet and then found out it was Steenkamp who was spending the night.

Nel said: “She is 3m away from you in the toilet and she never uttered a word. It’s not possible. She would be scared.”

Pistorius: “But why would she shout out?”

Nel: “Because you are in the room, sir.”

The State believes Pistorius and Steenkamp had an argument before she was shot.

Pistorius 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 pleaded not guilty to all 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