Nel: Dixon tried to mislead court

The state has managed to cast significant doubt on the defence’s witness in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Oscar Pistorius enters the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 17 April 2014. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

PRETORIA - The defence team's second expert witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial attempted to mislead the court by not disclosing significant information related to his evidence, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on Thursday.

The state concluded its cross-examination of former policeman and forensic geologist Roger Dixon in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The 27-year-old athlete is accused of murdering his girlfriend at his Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

He also faces two gun-related charges and one of illegal possession of ammunition.

Pistorius, known as the 'Blade Runner' globally due to the prosthetics he wears on the track, claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges of the first day of his trial.

Nel on Wednesday attacked Dixon's credentials, experience and integrity as an expert witness.

Forensic expert, Roger Dixon discussing the prosthetic during the Oscar Pistorius trial on 17 April 2014.

Known as the 'bull terrier' in legal circles for his aggressive and relentless line of questioning, the prosecutor spent a second day grilling the forensic geologist, who works at the University of Pretoria.

Dixon is among the witnesses the sportsman will rely on to prove that he shot the Port Elizabeth model by accident.

The expert submitted to the court photographs showing a man kneeling in front of the bathroom window, to illustrate what Pistorius would have looked like on his stumps.

But when Nel questioned the measurements, Dixon admitted the athlete would have been at least 20 centimetres taller.


In a shocking twist of events, Dixon contradicted the athlete's version of events on the night he killed his 29-year-old girlfriend.

The former cop told the court the magazine rack found in the bathroom cubicle was not in the position where Pistorius claimed it was.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel shows Dr Jan Botha and the court the photograph which he says proves where Reeva Steenkamp's head was after being shot. The blood in the toilet is most probably from the head wound and the blood on the floor is most probably from the wound over the shoulder.

Dixon says according to his analysis of the crime scene, the magazine rack was in the corner of the bathroom cubicle next to the toilet.

Nel then pointed out that this is not in line with the sportsman's version.

During Pistorius's cross-examination, he told the court the rack was found on the far right-hand side of the cubicle.

"One would expect the magazine rack to be there," Nel said.

"That is so, my lady," replied Dixon.

"But you said to this court it definitely wasn't there. Are you giving a version that's against the accused," the prosecutor asked.

Dixon appeared to be unaware of where the 'Blade Runner' said the magazine rack was.

The state claims the marks on the model's back were caused by fragments of a bullet which ricocheted.

The forensic expert maintains he's certain the marks were caused by the magazine rack.


Nel identified discrepancies in the method employed and data used by Dixon, who disputed the state's evidence.

The prosecutor also placed it on record that it appeared the recording of a bat striking a door had been amplified to sound as loud as a gunshot.

Nel concluded his cross-examination by attacking Dixon's credentials, experience and integrity as an expert witness.

This after he testified about visiting the crime scene, erecting the toilet door and making numerous findings.

But he didn't have a report to present in court and often testified from his memory using notes he'd brought with him.

Nel was puzzled by his conduct.

The prosecutor identified numerous faults in Dixon's tests, casting significant doubt on their admissibility in court.

The matter will resume on 5 May.

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