Pistorius to continue emotional testimony
Oscar Pistorius broke down in court after reliving the moment he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.
PRETORIA - After a dramatic emotional collapse yesterday, Oscar Pistorius will have to continue reliving today how he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp as he moves closer to prosecutor Gerrie Nel's cross-examination.
Pistorius broke down shortly after testifying about firing his gun and then trying to break down the toilet door.
When he tried to explain how he felt when he saw Steenkamp's body, he began to cry uncontrollably. Picture: Carte Blanche.
Picture: Carte Blanche.
As it became clear that Pistorius could not continue testifying, the courtroom froze in silence listening to his loud agonising sobs.
"I tried to kick the door, but nothing happened."
Video: Oscar Pistorius takes us through his house.
The athlete's face was red, buried in the palms of his hands, and his family was anxious to get to him and offer some comfort.
After a few moments the trial was adjourned and the Paralympian and Olympian was allowed to step out, supported by his brother and sister, his legal team and a psychologist.
It appeared those close to him were deeply shaken by the episode.
Steenkamp's mother June cried earlier in the day, but showed no emotion when Pistorius broke down. Picture: Pool.
With cross-examination looming, the athlete has several more difficult days ahead.
PISTORIUS STILL HAS MORE TO EXPLAIN
Pistorius said he opened fire believing Steenkamp was an intruder, but the state is arguing it was a case of premeditated murder.
The murder accused must still tell the court what he did in the moments after discovering Steenkamp lying in a pool of blood after he shot her.
He must also explain why he called estate resident Johan Stander before he called an ambulance, and what was the nature of the brief conversation with the security guard.
Pistorius will also probably explain why he went upstairs while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.
The athlete described being filled with terror in the minutes before he shot Steenkamp.
Defence advocate Barry Roux may further explore his emotions at the time he pulled the trigger.
New evidence and discrepancies emerged in the testimony of Pistorius.
In an unexpected turn, the 27-year-old said Steenkamp was awake just moments before the shooting.
He said she referred to him by their pet name 'baba', asking whether he had trouble sleeping.
"I woke up in the early hours of the 14th of February. Reeva was still awake or she was obviously not sleeping. She rolled over to me and said 'can't you sleep my baba?' and I said no, I can't. I got out of my side of the bed."
This information was not mentioned in a statement by the athlete during his bail application last year.
Pistorius provided further details on the sounds he heard in the minutes leading up to the deadly shooting, such as the window sliding open and the bathroom door slamming shut.
It was the moment Pistorius heard the bathroom window frames slamming against each other that he said "everything changed".
Pistorius said he first thing that went through his mind was to arm himself and protect Steenkamp.
He said he fetched his firearm from under the bed, whispered to Steenkamp to call the police before charging at the perceived threat.
The information that Pistorius whispered to Steenkamp to call the police was also not included in the athlete's statement.
EX-GIRLFRIEND SAMANTHA TAYLOR
Meanwhile, Pistorius's ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor also caused a stir when she appeared to refer to his testimony in an angry tweet.
She was trending across South Africa yesterday after she tweeted, "Last lies you get to tell. You better make it worth your while."
The tweet was posted as Pistorius testified and then quickly taken down, but not before it was picked up by scores of her followers.
Get all the latest on the EWN Pistorius trial.
Video: Oscar Pistorius breaks down in the witness stand