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‘Unwise’ to rely on what witnesses heard – Judge Masipa

Judge Thokozile Masipa would not rely on what witnesses to Reeva Steenkamp's killing claimed they heard, she said in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

“It would be unwise to rely on any evidence by those witnesses who gave evidence on what they heard that morning. Human beings are fallible and rely on memory, which fades over time.”

As Masipa read her judgment, four police tactical response team officers, without rifles, watched over the court, hands behind their backs.

Masipa said fortunately phone records allowed for the chronology of events to be recreated.

LIVE VIDEO FEED: Oscar Pistorius Judgment

She read the timeline between 3.12am on February 14 last year, when the first shots were heard, and 3.55am, when police arrived on the scene.

“It gives a feel of where witnesses corroborate or contradict one another,” she added.

She took a sip of water, whispered to one of her assessors, and called a two-minute break.

Pistorius, 27, is accused of murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse.

He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

The paralympian also faces three charges of contravening 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.


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