Pistorius trial: Neighbour testifies

Oscar Pistorius’s neighbour, Johan Stander, is on the witness stand this morning

Oscar Pistorius is escorted into the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 5 May 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - After a two week break, the Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumed at the High Court in Pretoria in what is being called the final leg of the trial.

The defence team will begin winding down their case.

Defence advocate Kenny Oldwadge called his client's neighbour, Johan Stander, to the stand.

Stander has objected to have visuals of his testimony being broadcast.

Stander testified that he met Pistorius when he moved into his house in 2009 and the athlete offered to help him move his furniture.

Stander confirmed he was approached by the police to give a statement after the shooting on 14 February 2013.

Pistorius, during the early hours of that morning, shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

He faces a charge of premeditated murder, two separate firearms charges and one of illegal possession of ammunition.

The athlete maintains he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

PISTORIUS PHONED STANDER

Oldwadge asked the witness to take the court through the events of that night.

He said he received a call at 3:18am, and Pistorius told him, "Please, Johan, please come to my house. I shot Reeva. I thought she was an intruder."

He added, "My daughter woke up. She heard screams. So we decided to go to Pistorius's house."

Stander said once they arrived at the house, the front door was slightly open.

"My daughter was in front of me. She pushed the door open. We saw Pistorius coming down the stairs with Reeva in his arms. She had a head wound."

Stander said his daughter had asked Pistorius to put Steenkamp down when he reached the bottom of the stairs.

"Oscar was crying, he was in pain… he asked us to please help him."

He said another resident from the complex, Dr Johan Stipp, had arrived on the scene.

"Stipp arrived. He said he's a doctor. I asked him to go in to see if he can assist. Stipp gave me an emergency number to call."

Stander said while he was speaking on the phone, Stipp and his daughter came out of the house and not long after this, the ambulance arrived and the paramedics declared Steenkamp dead.

"At one point Oscar went upstairs to collect Reeva's ID book."

He said that afterwards, there were a number of vehicles parked outside the house, with some people in police uniform, while others were not.

"People were going up and down the stairs in the house and Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg came over to me and introduced himself."

'OSCAR WAS TRAUMATISED'

Oldwadge asked the witness if he observed Pistorius while he was at the scene.

Stander said yes and added that it was not something he would like to experience again.

"A young man walking with this woman in his arms. He was praying, traumatised, broken, desperate, pleading. It's difficult to describe."

He said his commitment to save the lady's life went as far as him [Pistorius] putting his fingers in her mouth while begging God to save her.

Oldwadge tried to establish a concrete time frame, asking how long Pistorius took upstairs when he fetched Steenkamp's ID book.

Stander responded, "Less than half a minute. On his way up he was recalled. I called Carl [Pistorius] at about 3:59 and the police arrived at about that time."

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State prosecutpr Gerrie Nel has begun his cross-examination.