Nel accuses Derman of being biased
Gerrie Nel has accused Prof Wayne Derman of being biased towards Oscar Pistorius.
PRETORIA - State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has accused defence witness Professor Wayne Derman of being biased towards his client Oscar Pistorius.
Pistorius is on trial for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury home on Valentine's Day.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.
Oscar Pistorius gets dropped of in front of the High Court in Pretoria ahead of Day 37 of his murder trial on 3 July 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN
While he is adamant it was an accident, the state insists he intended to murder her.
Derman is the third defence witness to take the stand this week after a lengthy break during which Pistorius underwent medical observation.
Watch: Pistorius reports to Weskoppies
He is testifying about the physical and emotional responses of people with disabilities when faced with fear.
Nel says due to the nature of Derman and Pistorius's doctor patient relationship, Derman cannot be seen as objective.
The professor has told the High Court in Pretoria that Pistorius faces higher stress levels in his everyday life, including in his relationships.
He says the 'blade runner' is perceived as being very able because of his athletic career but in reality he's also vulnerable.
"You've got a paradox of an individual who is supremely able and then you've got an individual who is significantly disabled."
Watch: 'Oscar Pistorius has no mental defect'
Nel challenged Derman's testimony.
"But you're not allowed to do that. You have to always act in the best interests of your patient. You cannot give evidence against your patient, sir."
Derman responded by saying, "My lady I am under oath, I am here to provide the truth and that is what I will do."
Pistorius' legal team has referred to his psychological report, which states that there are two sides to the athlete's personality, one of which is extremely vulnerable.
Defence advocate Kenny Oldwage has referred to the psychological report handed into court this week.
The judge ruled that the media can only report on the findings of that report because it contains intimate details about Pistorius.
Oldwage referred to the two Oscars: one which is disabled and vulnerable and the other a successful and confident athlete.
Watch: Pistorius trial: Defence presents crux of case
Derman says Pistorius is perceived as being very able because of his athletic career but in reality he's also vulnerable.
He says the hard truth is that Pistorius doesn't have lower limbs and this disability is a daily challenge which affects all aspects of his life.
Derman also says disabled people respond differently to fear compared to able people.
He says the 'fight or flight' response is a reflex and in this case, despite the existence of Pistorius' disability, he chose the 'fight' option.
According to Derman, this is a normal reaction because he couldn't 'flee' because he has no lower limbs.
Watch: Pistorius trial: Life of a sports icon