Pistorius trial: Pathologist cross-examined

The man who performed Reeva Steenkamp’s post-mortem is under cross-examination.

State pathologist Professor Gert Saayman during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on 10 March 2014.

PRETORIA - Judge Thokozile Masipa has lifted a ban on live tweets from the courtroom of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

But the ban on both audio and visual feed still stands for the duration of pathologist, Gert Saayman's testimony.

Listen to the application, all submissions and ruling of the media ban.


Earlier, the court adjourned after defence advocate Barry Roux asked to study medical journal articles Saayman cited during cross-examination.

Barry Roux. Picture: Pool.

The adjournment was spurred by Roux asking about the gastric emptying.

Saayman cited the articles during his response.

Roux said he needed to study and understand them to be able to continue with questioning.

Roux began his cross-examination by asking about the devastating effect of the wounds.

"What would happen to the person's cognitive function if struck by bullets in quick succession?"

Saayman said the shots to the arm and hip would not have significant effect on the cognitive ability of the person.

EWN video: Saayman's testimony makes Pistorius sick.

He added that the shot to the ear would have caused immediate incapacitation.

Roux then moved to discussion of the urine in Steenkamp's bladder.

The pathologist said the small amount found was murky, which is not unusual.

Saayman made the point prior to adjournment that his findings were not based specifically or explicitly on one article.

He said his findings were a synthesis of his own experience, observations and years of reading medical literature.

Yesterday, Saayman told the court about the kind of hollow point bullets the athlete used to shoot Steenkamp during the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

He also testified that Steenkamp probably ate two hours before being killed.

This went against Pistorius's claim that the two had gone to bed at around 10pm.

Picture: Pool


The decision by Judge Thokozile Masipa not to broadcast live visuals during Saayman's testimony has attracted more people to the overflow courtroom.

Dozens of journalists, court officials and ordinary members of the public are filling the overflow room where three big screens with the trial are being broadcast.

These are the only live visuals currently being broadcast as the court has prohibited any live streaming of Saayman's testimony,

Some camera crews and international correspondents that had been stationed outside the building since last week are packing up.

Get all the latest developments on the _ EWN Oscar Pistorius portal._