PRETORIA – Defence advocate Kenny Oldwadge has uncovered what appear to be discrepancies between Anette Stipp’s testimony and the statement she gave police on the night Oscar Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.
Stipp, who lives in direct line of sight to Oscar Pistorius’s house in the Silver Woods Country Estate, is under cross-examination in the murder trial.
Oldwadge asked Stipp how many written statements she had made, to which she replied, “Just the one.”
The advocate presented Stipp’s initial statement, which she had given to Investigating Officer Captain Mike van Aardt, to the court.
He began reading from the statement, looking for discrepancies.
He found a mistake to which they both agree with - that the statement said Stipp saw someone walking in the bathroom when in fact she did not.
Oldwadge then read out a large portion of the statement and found another sentence which he said was different to her testimony.
The discrepancy surrounds the timing of her and her husband going to the balconies after hearing gunshots.
But Stipp maintained her statement was the same as what she had said in court.
Oldwadge then picked up another apparent discrepancy.
“If you go to paragraph four, there’s something that appears that is pretty peculiar. There is a part that is initialled. Is that your initial?”
Stipp replied, “That is correct.”
'STRIKING A NERVE'
Oldwadge then pointed out that there was a line scratched out which said she saw a man walking inside the house.
Oldwadge suggested that changes to her statement reflected that Stipp had tailored her testimony.
“You thought about it and only after having thought it through, you decided what you said about the man in the house was not true. I put it to you then that indeed your recollection is not that good.”
He went on and said, "This is the second time that I’ve demonstrated that your recreation of the events is not that good.”
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected and asked Oldwadge to prove to the court that this was the second failing of memory.
Oldwadge then cheekily responded, “I appear to have struck a nerve.”
He then referred to Stipp stating that she could not remember hearing dogs barking.
Nel interrupted Oldwadge and told him, “It’s a failure of memory that she cannot remember dogs barking if you prove dogs had indeed barked.”
The judge agreed with Nel and Oldwadge said he would move on.
SCREAMS & SHOTS
After moving on, Oldwadge wanted to know how long it took Stipp to give her statement to the police, which she said she couldn’t remember.
Oldwadge then asked, “Can we accept that you cannot begin to estimate time frames?”
He then asked Stipp about her domestic worker, Ms Mkwanazi.
The advocate read from Mkwanazi’s statement, where she claimed to have heard crying.
Oldwadge asked Stipp, “Did you hear crying?”
Stipp replied, “No. I heard screaming.”
She insisted the light in the small bathroom window was switched on despite Oldwadge saying, on instruction from Pistorius, that the light was not working.
Stipp said two sets of sounds sounded almost exactly the same - three loud sounds in rapid succession.
Oldwadge then asked whether the second sounds could perhaps have been the sounds of the cricket bat hitting the door.
Stipp did not accept that the sounds were of the bat, because it sounded like gunshots and were in quick succession.
Oldwadge also questioned whether Stipp was able to see Pistorius's house from where she was standing.
“If I say you had a good vantage point, would you agree with me?” the lawyer asked.
“I do,” Stipp replied.
“But that’s not true,” Oldwadge replied.
Additional reporting from EWN's live Oscar Pistorius blog.