Pistorius trial: Messages expose jealousy, mistrust

Police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller took the stand in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius talks to defence advocate Barry Roux before the start of court proceedings of his murder trial on 24 March 2014 at the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Intimate text messages between Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Monday told a story of a relationship marred by jealousy, arguments and double-standards.

Police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller took the stand in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a toilet door at his Silver Woods Country Estate home in Pretoria East in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

While he claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, the state said it was premeditated murder.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete also faces gun-related charges in connection with two separate shooting incidents, one from a moving vehicle and another at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch.

The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to all charges on the first day of his trial on 3 March.

Moller analysed the data found on Steenkamp's iPhone.

He read out a series of messages detailing arguments and disagreements between Steenkamp and Pistorius in the weeks leading up to the deadly shooting.

In one of the intimate messages, Steenkamp told Pistorius that she was sometimes afraid of him and mentioned that he would snap at her.

"You have picked on me incessantly since you got back from CT and I understand that you are sick but it's nasty. Yesterday wasn't nice for either of us but we managed to pull through and communicate well enough to show our care for each other."

In another, Steenkamp told Pistorius she didn't appreciate the fact that he had caused a scene during an outing.

He had apparently accused her of flirting with other men.

"I wasn't flirting with anyone today. I feel sick that you suggested that and that you made a scene at the table and made us leave early. I am terribly disappointed in how the day ended and how you left me. We are living in a double-standard relationship."

The messages paint a picture of a relationship that had its ups and downs, and told a story of arguments sparked by Pistorius's jealousy.

Moller also read out a message, apparently sent after the incident at Tashas, where Pistorius discharged a firearm in a crowded restaurant.

"Angel please doesn't say a thing to anyone. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can't afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing."

In one message, Steenkamp apologised for smoking weed on a trip for television programme Tropika Island of Treasure, explaining it was all clean fun.

In another message, the model said she didn't think Pistorius would criticise her so loudly in front of others.

Moller highlighted several arguments where Steenkamp expressed concern about Pistorius's behaviour, especially during outings.

But he also said there were many loving conversations between the two.

Steenkamp's mother June and the model's close friend Gina Myers were in court as the deeply personal messages were read out for all to hear.

Pistorius sat with his head down in the dock while tears could be seen rolling down his face.

Hundreds took to social media to express their opinions on the messages.

Must hurt for Reeva's mom to hear her daughter plead 2 be loved and treated well when that is all she ever did love Reeva and treat her well

#OscarTrial Reeva also said in one whatsapp message which in hindsight is ironic "You are the one person I deserve protection from"

Revealing Oscar and Reeva's personal messages in open court intrusive and violating or necessary to establish whether crime was committed?

Difficult listening to this whatsapp conversation between #Reeva and #OscarPistorius. So personal and intimate.

I have been at loggerheads with my significant other, never though have I been scared of them. #OscarPistorius #oscartrial

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you type can and will be used against you in a court of law. #OscarPistorius

#OscarTrial Reeva in message: I am scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me


Earlier, Pistorius' legal team questioned the credibility of a neighbour's testimony and her recollection of the events that unfolded on the day.

Annette Stipp, who lives in the same estate across the road from the athlete's house, claims she heard two sets of shots and a woman's screams in the early hours of the morning.

But the defence argued that she did not have a good enough view of the athlete's home.

Stipp said she is certain that she heard a woman screaming and then a separate male voice, in between two sets of gunshots.

Defence Advocate Kenny Oldwadge questioned her alertness at the time, saying there were in fact four gunshots and she could have mistaken the woman's voice for Pistorius's high-pitched scream.

Stipp also insisted that she saw the light switched on through the windows of the bathroom and the toilet cubicle, but Oldwadge said the light in the cubicle was not working at the time.

He also pointed out discrepancies in her statement and testimony, saying she did not see a man through the bathroom window, her husband did, yet she still included it in her original statement to police.

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

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