Nel continues attack on Pistorius's version

Gerrie Nel grilled Pistorius over whether his intention was to kill when he opened fire.

Murder accused Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

PRETORIA - Murder accused Oscar Pistorius has been asked why he didn't leave through the bedroom door and escape danger when thinking an intruder had entered his house on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius is spending a fifth straight day testifying in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria and faces relentless cross-examination from state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the man dubbed the 'bull terrier'.

Nel once again grilled Pistorius over whether his intention was to kill when he opened fire on the toilet door on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

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 the illegal possession of ammunition.

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

Nel argued that Pistorius "rushed towards the danger" and should have been more cautious.

"My whole being was fixated on this person that I thought was in the bathroom, my lady. I had already grabbed my firearm. When I told Reeva to get down and call the police I was already facing away from the bed and making my way to the passage."

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

Nel said, "And you and Reeva could have gone out the main bedroom door."

Earlier, the trial adjourned briefly to allow the athlete time to compose himself after he once again became emotional on the stand under gruelling cross-examination.

Shortly before the break, Pistorius was asked why he didn't check on Steenkamp before opening fire on his bathroom door last Valentine's Day.

The 'Blade Runner' told the court he told Steenkamp to get down and call the police, although he admitted he did not turn to look at her or wait for a response.

He said he whispered it in a soft tone.

Pistorius claimed to have never looked at where he thought she was as he kept his eyes on the passage.

Nel asked why Pistorius never asked Steenkamp if she hadheard what he did, especially since she was already awake.

"I will argue that it is a reasonable thing to do. In the past, you heard a noise and you discussed it with Samantha Taylor."

Pistorius replied, "On one occasion, when Taylor was there, I woke up to a noise downstairs. I was unsure of what I heard. It turned out to be my dog. On the 14th, it was different. I knew what I heard."

The Paralympic and Olympic athlete said, "The morning of the 14th I was sure of what I heard. I didn't want to converse more than I had to and I said to Reeva get down and phone the police."

Nel said, "But one thing we know is you never waited for a response. You never checked up if she's okay and if she's panicking."

Earlier, Judge Thokozile Masipa asked Pistorius if the reason he was making mistakes on the stand was because he was tired after the state accused him of lying and tailoring his evidence.

Masipa intervened as the athlete struggled to answer several questions.


Pistorius showed signs of annoyance and seemed to be getting irritated at Nel's line of questioning.

Nel asked Pistorius why he covered up the small blue LED light on the amplifier in his bedroom. Pistorius said it was bothering him.

Nel concluded that it must have been giving off quite a bit of light then, meaning he would have been able to see much better than he claimed.

Pistorius explained the exact position of the light and Nel then moved on to another photo of the room, asking about the position of the fans.

"In your evidence, you couldn't hear Reeva get up because your face was close to the fan while it was on and you were moving it. Yet you heard the window in the toilet opening?"

A seemingly annoyed Pistorius explained that the noise of the window sliding open and slamming was very distinct and loud.

Pistorius, seemingly not realising the implications, agreed.

Nel was quick on the trigger and said, "There's one problem, the jeans are on the duvet."

Pistorius said he did not see how that was a problem.

Nel implied that if the jeans were on top of the duvet, it meant that nobody was sleeping in the bed and probably did not sleep that night.

Nel then asked Pistorius if police picked the jeans up and threw them onto the duvet a short distance away. Pistorius said he could not answer that.

He maintained that he could not explain why police moved so many objects around in the room, turned the lights on, for example, just that it did happen.

Nel said police couldn't have been trying to make the evidence work against Pistorius as they knew too little about his version.

The prosecutor said if they didn't move anything, it was clear Pistorius was a lair.


Pistorius invited the state to recall witnesses to test his character by examining altercations the athlete had at the Kyalami Race Track and Sun City.

Pistoirus denied he ever threatened to break Mark Batchelor's legs when he confronted him at Sun City. This follows an altercation the Blade Runner had with Quinton van den Bergh at the Kyalami Race Track.

He said he then received an intimidating letter and was assaulted which required him getting stitches at a hospital.

Nel challenged him on aspects of his version, leading Pistorius to invite him to call the people involved and question them.

Clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Wolff earlier spoke to 567 Cape Talk's Kieno Kammies about Pistorius's psychological state.

Additional reporting in this article from the EWN's Live Blog.