Pistorius trial: Former cop testifies

Former Boschkop Police Station Commander Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg is on the stand.

Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg testifies at the High Court in Pretoria during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on 13 March 2014.

PRETORIA - The next witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has been called up to testify.

Former Boschkop Police Station Commander, Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, has taken the stand after a short adjournment.

Van Rensburg testified he was on duty when he received a call that a shooting had taken place at Pistorius's Pretoria East home.

He told the court he attended the crime scene and confirmed the athlete was arrested for killing Steenkamp.

When he arrived at the scene, there was an ambulance and security guards outside the athlete's home.

Van Rensburg said when he entered the house, he saw Steenkamp's bloodied body lying at the bottom of the staircase with towels and black bags placed over her wounds.

He said paramedics told him Steenkamp had died when they arrived on the scene.

The colonel resigned after apparently coming under severe pressure over the reported bungling of the crime scene.

The bathroom door through which Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was kept in van Rensburg's office for about a week after the shooting, despite protocol requiring that it be kept in a secure storeroom.

The bathroom door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp. Picture: Pool.


Pistorius clasped his hands over his face, hunched over and began throwing up when images of Steenkamp's body flashed on the screen in court.

This also prompted a gasp from his family and other members of the public gallery.

The athlete seemed to have caught off guard and tried to compose himself.

Nel asked for an adjournment, saying more graphic images would be shown so he needed to make some arrangements.


Before the adjournment, police forensics expert Gerhard Vermeulen was re-examined by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Nel asked Vermeulen if he still stood by his findings on the angle at which Pistorius's cricket bat hit the bathroom door.

He said he did, adding, "There was no need for microscopic investigation to determine the angle of the bat. It was simple to figure that out."

He added if the accused had his prosthetic legs on, he would have been in an unnatural position when hitting the door.

Colonel Gerhard Vermeulen with the cricket bat in question. Picture: Pool.

Judge Thokozile Masipa also asked to view the cricket bat herself.

Vermeulen also viewed photos of the day he conducted his tests which reiterated his findings.

Nel asked Vermeulen if one could kick the door to scare someone or to make a noise.

"It's possible. There is no timeline for when that mark was made except for Pistorius's version."


Earlier, Vermeulen came under fire for the way police handled the toilet door through which Steenkamp was shot.

Roux also challenged Vermeulen for not exploring the athlete's version of events and for not being able to explain why some marks on the door vanished between the crime scene and the courtroom.

One of Roux's main lines of attack was the missing splinters from the door.

The bathroom door attached to a makeshift model in court. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

The defence advocate also pounced on Vermeulen's choice of words when admitting he did not examine Pistorius's claim of having kicked the door.

A major forensic dispute also emerged over whether Pistorius was on his stumps when breaking through the door.

His version is that he was wearing his prosthetic legs, but Vermeulen's conclusion is the exact opposite.