Dixon disputes Mangena's findings

The defence’s expert witness disputed evidence from state ballistics expert Chris Mangena.

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

PRETORIA - State prosecutor Gerrie 'bull terrier' Nel continued with his cross-examination of the defence's forensic geology expert Roger Dixon in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

The state has charged him with premeditated murder, two separate firearms-related charges and one of illegal possession of ammunition.

Picture: Sky News.

The athlete maintains he thought Steenkamp was an intruder after he shot and killed her while she was in the bathroom.

The state has accused Pistorius of being involved in a heated argument before he intentionally shot Steenkamp.


Nel and Dixon discussed the bullet holes in the toilet door.

Nel wanted to know what Dixon thought the correlation was between each hole and Steenkamp's injuries.

The expert had a different opinion to state ballistics expert, Captain Chris Mangena, who was in court listening attentively.

"In your reconstruction of the toilet cubicle, where was the magazine rack?" asked Nel.

"If Reeva was seated on the magazine rack, the head wound is too high for her to have been struck."

Nel asked, "Are you saying that she was on the floor when bullet D hit her in the head?"

"No, it hit her in her head as she was falling down" was Dixon's response.

He then explained that Steenkamp fell down as a result of the hip wound , and then three more shots hit her before she landed on the floor.

The state prosecutor asked, "How rapidly can Pistorius pull a trigger to hit Steenkamp three more times before she hit the ground?"

Dixon went on to provide another long explanation about bullets, energy and body movements.

Nel interjected, "What question did I ask you?"

Picture: Pool.

Dixon said he could not remember.

Smiling, Nel moved on to his next question, "Apart from the wound on the head, is there anything else that guided you on the position of the head?"

The expert replied, "The two contusions on the back, combined with the bruise on the buttock showed she was falling down and hit the mag rack."

Upon hearing this, Nel quickly asked "Are you saying that even after [Gert] Saayman dissected the wound, you still say he's wrong [about the bruise on buttock]?"

The geology expert said, "I'm not saying he's wrong, but [Gert] Saayman didn't specifically state the bruise was caused by the projectile".


Earlier, Nel asked Dixon more questions about the first set of recordings of the gunshot and cricket bat noises.

The prosecutor said he believed the sound of the cricket bat striking the door was possibly amplified.

Dixon said he was not involved in the recording itself and could not say whether someone amplified any of the sounds.

He said this was the first case he had worked on since he left the police forensic science laboratory.

"I was specifically approached to do this job."

Discussing the light tests at Pistorius's house, Nel asked Dixon again whether he used a specialised instrument.

The expert said as far as he was concerned, what he could see with his own eyes was what mattered most.

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Video: Nel attacks defence's credibility.