Pistorius's 'primal instincts' kicked in

Advocate Barry Roux is delivering his closing argument in the North Gauteng High Court.

Oscar Pistorius. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - The defence in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has argued the athlete's "primal instincts" kicked in when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp because he was in a vulnerable and fearful state.

Advocate Barry Roux is delivering his closing argument in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria just a day after the state concluded by saying Pistorius cannot escape a murder conviction.

He has been set a deadline of today to complete his closing argument in the case.

Roux is adamant the athlete acted in self-defence, believing he was under threat from an intruder when he opened fire on Valentine's Day last year.

Pistorius also faces three separate charges, including two counts of discharging firearms in public and possession of illegal ammunition, all of which he denies.

Roux has defended his decision not to call an expert witness to testify that Pistorius's screams sounded like a woman.

He told the court that the evidence from the neighbours was enough to prove that his voice may have been mistaken for a woman's.

Roux spent a lot of time during the beginning of the trial saying he would get an expert to testify that the athlete's screams sound like a woman's.

One neighbour testified she didnt hear a woman screaming, only a high-pitched voice of a man.

Roux also focused on the timeline of the events saying the state didn't take the sounds of the cricket bat into consideration.

He said after firing the shots, Pistorius returned to his bedroom, then back to the bathroom, then back to fetch the cricket bat before breaking down the door and collecting Steenkamp.

Roux argued it is impossible that all these steps could have been conducted between the state's time of the shooting at 3:17am and the first call for help at 3:19am.

The fathers of both Pistorius and Steenkamp were in court for the first time this week. The track star's aunt embraced Steenkamp's father before the trial resumed on Friday.

Nel, known as 'The Pitbull' because of his fierce cross-examination style, has called for Pistorius's evidence to be rejected from the judge's consideration because it was "devoid of any truth" and the athlete contradicted himself when he said during cross-examination that he fired both accidentally and deliberately.

He said Pistorius had told "a snowball of lies" and called on Judge Thokozile Masipa to convict the athlete of intentional murder, a crime which could land him with a life sentence.

Nel 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."

Steenkamp's dramatic death 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.

After closing arguments are wrapped up today, Masipa, who has more than 4,000 pages of evidence to review, will retire to consider her verdict.

To see the heads of argument click here.

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