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Oscar Pistorius trial adjourns to 5 May

The murder trial was adjourned to 5 May when the defence team will continue with its case.

Oscar Pistorius receives a bible from a supporter as he enters the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 17 April 2014. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

PRETORIA - Judge Thokozile Masipa has adjourned the Oscar Pistorius trial to 5 May at 09:30am.

An application to have the matter adjourned before lunch was brought by the defence team who indicated the little time the court had today would not do justice to its next witness.

The state agreed and the application was granted.

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.

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.

REPORT ON PROSTHESIS

Before a very brief re-examination by defence advocate Barry Roux, forensic geology expert Roger Dixon was grilled by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel over the past two days.

Picture: EWN.

With regards to Pistorius's prosthesis, Nel today asked Dixon whether the piece cut out from the prosthesis was smaller than the mark on the door.

The expert confirmed that it was indeed slightly smaller.

Nel also wanted to know if there was any significance to the fibres in the mark on the prosthesis which pointed downwards.

Video: Nel attacks defence's credibility.

Dixon was then handed the prosthesis for inspection.

He confirmed that this was the prosthesis from which the sample was cut.

Nel also questioned when, where and how Dixon received the prosthesis sample and whether it was admissible.

Dixon explained how he analysed the varnish from the prosthesis and the door, with tests conducted at the University of Pretoria.

BULLET ANGLES

Nel asked about a photo of a hole after a bullet was fired at an angle.

"Did you measure the angle?"

"The shots were fired at the approximate position," responded Dixon.

He went on and said the angle was measured with lines drawn on the floor.

A visibly irritated Nel asked in a loud voice, "Did you measure the angle of the bullet through the door with a probe or angle meter?"

Picture: Pool.

Dixon conceded that he had not.

He also let slip that he may have spoken to counsel after confirming that counsel handed over exhibits.

Dixon was under cross-examination and was not allowed to consult with counsel.

GUNSHOTS AND WOUNDS

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

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?

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".

Get all the latest on the EWN Oscar Pistorius trial portal.

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