Nel: Pistorius's lies snowballed

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is delivering the state’s closing arguments in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial today.

Oscar Pistorius arrives at the High Court in Pretoria ahead of his murder trial on 7 August 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has continued to punch holes in murder accused Oscar Pistorius's version of events, saying it is improbable.

Nel is delivering the state's closing arguments in Pistorius's murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria today.

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

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at the SA Sports Awards on 4 November 2012. Picture: AFP.

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

The killing has shattered the image of Pistorius as an embodiment of triumph over adversity for both his Paralympic victories and his success against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics

The gallery behind Pistorius is packed, with large numbers of family members, friends and journalists in attendance.

The fathers of both Pistorius and Steenkamp were in court for the first time.

There was an unusually smaller crowd outside the court this morning, compared to the past few months since the trial started.


Nel said the athlete's lies snowballed. He said Pistorius told one lie and then had to keep lying to keep the picture intact.

He has also told the court Pistorius was an appalling witness.

"The argument was vague, his responses argumentative and that his mendacity was perhaps best exemplified with his evidence that, although he recalls a detail of his encounter with a Mercedes on the highway, he cannot recall who fetched him from Rhapsody's."

Referring to the placement of the fans and electrical cords on the night in question, Nel said it is not good enough that Pistorius claimed to lack memory of the exact details.

He also attacked Pistorius's assertion that the point wasn't significant, saying this indicates that he reconstructed his own memory.

Nel also dealt with the 'Zombie Stopper' issue.

Before he showed the video to the court, he asked Pistorius if he knew the phrase. The athlete denied ever hearing it, yet it was shown that he used it himself in the video.

Nel then said, "Not every lie is important, except where you can show that it's important and that is what we will do".

He said the accused did not present himself as someone striving to give a truthful version but rather someone who was tailoring his version.

The advocate said Pistorius was more concerned with the repercussions of his answers than with giving the court a truthful account.

Nel launched into his closing argument this morning by saying criminal trials are very blunt tools for finding the truth and that it has been difficult to get to the bottom of this case.

Nel told the High Court Pistorius's version of events is devoid of any truth and the athlete is always the victim of circumstances.

Watch: Pistorius trial: State vs defence

Meanwhile, Pistorius sat quite calmly as he watched Nel bluntly accuse him of telling lies in court.

The athlete broke down frequently during the trial, often sobbing and vomiting into a bucket.

The closing arguments are expected to last two days. The defence will present its closing argument tomorrow and after that, Judge Thokozile Masipa, who has more than 4,000 pages of evidence to review, will retire to consider her verdict.

Watch: Pistorius trial: A journalists view

For more on the trial, click here. or visit the live Oscar Pistorius blog, here.

Additional reporting by Reuters