Pistorius defence expected to close case

Court may adjourn for between 4 to 6 weeks and return for closing arguments.

Oscar Pistorius makes his way to the high court chambers after day 38 of his murder trial. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Murder accused Oscar Pistorius's defence team is expected to close its case today before the court will set dates for closing arguments.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel concluded his cross-examination of sport science professor Wayne Derman, with the witness testifying yesterday that he believes Pistorius's intention was to shoot the intruder in his house.

Derma n told the North Gauteng High Court that due to his disability, Pistorius chose to approach the perceived danger because he was on his stumps and couldn't flee.

During gruelling cross-examination, the professor conceded to Pistorius's intent.

"From what I understand, my lady, it was his intention to shoot. I have nothing further, thank you my lady," Derman added.

The defence witness spent three days on the stand trying to convince the Pretoria court that Pistorius was an anxious individual who was startled by three sounds - the window in the bathroom, the toilet door closing and the magazine rack in the cubicle.

Derman insisted that disabled people are more prone to attacks than able-bodied people.

The professor told the court last week that when Pistorius felt he was in danger, he went into a "fight-or-flight" mode.

Nel maintained the expert was biased and his findings subjective.

Defence advocate Barry Roux ended proceedings yesterday saying he wanted to obtain proper instructions from his client before closing his case.

Judge Thokozile Masipa asked to see counsel for both parties in her chambers to discuss postponement dates.

It's understood court will adjourn for between four to six weeks and return for closing argument.

The Paralympic and Olympic athlete is accused of murdering Steenkamp at his luxury Silver Woods Country Estate home in Pretoria East on Valentine's Day last year.

The double amputee says he shot the model by accident, while the state maintains it was a case of premeditated murder.

Pistorius also faces gun-related charges in connection with two separate shooting incidents, one from a moving car and another at a crowded Johannesburg north restaurant.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges on the first day of his murder trial on 3 March.


As the murder trial nears its end, Steenkamp's parents said they've forgiven the athlete.

June and Barry Steenkamp spoke to British magazine Hello! while Pistorius was being assessed at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.

The tabloid features the couple snuggling on the beach with the scattered ashes of their daughter.

June says she still feels her daughter's presence and talks to her all the time.

But she believes Reeva will only rest in peace once the trial is over.

June says while she's forgiven him, she's determined to face Pistorius in court to reclaim Reeva.

Barry said he wished he'd intervened and stopped Reeva from seeing Pistorius, but realised his daughter wouldn't have accepted such intervention in her life.

For live audio and updates from the trial, go to EWN's live blog and for more background, visit EWN's Oscar Pistorius portal.

Pictures: Pool & AFP