Oscar Pistorius to face tough questions

The athlete will have to relive the entire event and face tough questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

The athlete will have to relive the entire event and face tough questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN.

PRETORIA - Murder accused Oscar Pistorius will be called to answer tough questions when he enters the witness box in his own defence.

The trial resumes in Pretoria today after being unexpectedly postponed because one of the judge's assessors fell ill.

Judge Thokozile Masipa agreed to an adjournment of seven days at the end of last week as millions of people around the world anticipated hearing Pistorius describe in his own words what happened when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

The trial is expecting a larger than normal media contingent, as well as members of the public who have been waiting to hear Pistorius's version of events.

The defence will present its case and may use some of the witnesses that the state didn't in order to prove that the athlete is not guilty.

Questions that may arise include why didn't Pistorius first find Steenkamp, the woman he claims to have been protecting, before firing four shots blindly through a door?

And if the athlete was so fearful of crime that he slept with a handgun within arm's reach at night, how does he explain going to bed with the balcony door to his room wide open?

Picture: Carte Blanche.

These are among the questions prosecutor Gerrie Nel will probably explore as he tests the Blade Runner's version of the events the night he killed Steenkamp.

Picture: Pool.

Pistorius will have to relive the entire event for the court, and will mostly likely become quite emotional like he did during the state witness testimony.

Cross-examination is expected to last several days, possibly the entire week.


The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed last week it would not oppose a motion to have a forensic pathologist testify before Pistorius.

Pistorius was expected to be called as the defence's first witness in the High Court in Pretoria on 7 April.

Video: Steenkamp was sometimes scared of Pistorius

But it emerged defence advocate Barry Roux and his associates will call Professor Jan Botha first.

Pistorius has lunch with his legal team in Sandton on Wednesday 2 April 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

Personal difficulties have been cited as the reason defence lawyers intend calling Botha to the witness stand before Pistorius.

Botha is expected to provide his own analysis of an autopsy carried on Steenkamp's body shortly after she died.

The state wrapped up its case with a clear focus on the SMS messages sent between Pistorius and Steenkamp a few weeks before he shot and killed her in his home.

_ A screenshot of a Whatsapp image sent from Steenkamp to Pistorius. Picture: Twitter via @Debora_Patta._

Get all the latest on the trial on the EWN Pistorius portal.