Nel: Pistorius's version doesn’t add up

It's been a dramatic week of cross-examination in the athlete's murder trial.

Oscar Pistorius is escorted into the High Court in Pretoria ahead of day 21 of his murder trial on 11 April 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

PRETORIA - It's been a week of dramatic cross-examination in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial with the athlete coming under fire over his version of events on the night he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, known as the 'bull terrier', attacked the athlete's testimony, saying evidence does not corresponded with his story.

More of the state's case, which alleges that a fight led to Steenkamp fleeing from Pistorius, emerged in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Day five of the athlete's testimony ended early with the matter being adjourned at lunchtime.

Pistorius has persisted with his claim that he shot and killed Steenkamp by accident.

At the same time, the state continues to attack his testimony in an attempt to prove it was cold-blooded murder.

The Paralympic and Olympic athlete is accused of murdering Steenkamp at his luxury Silver Woods Country Estate home in Pretoria East on Valentine's Day last year.

The 27-year-old also faces gun-related charges in connection with two separate shooting incidents, one from a moving car and another at a crowded Johannesburg north restaurant.

Pistorius also faces a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

The athlete pleaded not guilty to all charges on the first day of his murder trial on 3 March.

This week, Nel focused on a fan in the balcony doorway, a duvet on the floor and the position of a pair of jeans.

The state has picked up on a number of discrepancies in the athlete's testimony from the moment he heard a noise until the police arrived.

Nel told Pistorius that Steenkamp was talking to him just moments before he shot through a toilet door and killed her.

He asked why Pistorius had simply not just left the house with Steenkamp.

The athlete said, "There are a number of things that could've happened."

Nel replied, "You and Reeva could've gone out of the bedroom door."

The prosecutor wanted to know why Steenkamp didn't scream at any point from when he shouted there was an intruder to when he opened fire.

He then moved in, saying the evidence showed a different picture.

"In fact, you knew that Reeva was behind the door and you shot at her. That is the only thing that makes sense. You shot at her knowing that she was behind that door."

A pair of jeans belonging to Steenkamp, which were found on the floor, became significant in terms of the athlete's version.

Pistorius maintained that the duvet was on the bed and a pair of jeans on the floor, which he was about to pick up to throw over the light on his sound system when he heard a noise coming from the bathroom.

But Nel said the duvet was found by the police on the floor and the jeans partially on top of the duvet, saying this is inconsistent with the athlete's version.

The prosecutor said this means that the police would've had to lift the jeans from the floor, throw the duvet on the floor and then place the jeans on top of it in order to be consistent with Pistorius's version.

Nel said he is lying, but Judge Thokozile Masipa warned the prosecutor to refrain from calling him a liar while in the witness box.

Pistorius said when he heard the bathroom window opening, he didn't think it was necessary to discuss it with Steenkamp.

He only told her to get down and call the police.

Nel said this claim proves Pistorius's version is a lie.

"She is three metres away from you in the toilet and she never uttered a word. It's not probable."

Pistorius later said Steenkamp never screamed when he fired four shots through the bathroom door.


Earlier today, Nel grilled Pistorius on his testimony that he had been a victim of crime.

The athlete spoke of an incident where his home had been broken into and another where a shot had apparently been fired at him while he was travelling on the highway.

Nel asked him if he ever reported a crime to the police, to which Pistorius responded that he hadn't.

The prosecutor then asked, "If you've been so exposed to crime, why did you never report it?"

Pistorius replied, "For the burglary, I was away at the time and didn't have insurance anyway. When I was shot at, I didn't think that the police would be able to help me. There were several attempts to improve security measures at the estate."

Nel asked the athlete if he was so concerned about his safety, why he didn't stay up to date with estate security upgrades.

"Did you ever report your security concerns to the home owners' association?"

Pistorius said, "No because I wasn't at home for half the year."

He said he didn't think the police would be able to help in those instances.


Despite facing various charges, Pistorius still has his supporters.

He was given a bouquet by a weeping supporter as he left the courthouse on Friday.

Pistorius stopped to receive the flowers and a prayer book from a local woman who wanted to show her support.

He hugged the woman and whispered the words "thank you" as he accepted the gift.