‘Missed Pistorius call a significant oversight’

A nine minute phone conversation to Jenna Edkins wasn’t picked up by police.

Oscar Pistorius during his murder case in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 19 August 2013. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - An independent forensic investigator on Thursday said the police's failure to identify Oscar Pistorius's call to a former girlfriend on the eve of the deadly shooting was a significant oversight.

Eyewitness News earlier revealed the athlete was on his phone to Jenna Edkins when he arrived home to Reeva Steenkamp on the 13 February last year.

This was not picked up by detectives working on the case.

Pistorius and Edkins dated on-and-off for several years.

The athlete was convicted of culpable homicide last month for killing his model girlfriend and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Forensic expert Danny Myburgh says in the circumstances, police should have obtained a statement from Pistorius's ex-girlfriend.

"I would say that's quite important and it's important to me because of what happened within the 24 hour cycle of the [shooting] taking place."

The phone Edkins was using was registered in her father's name.

It is still not clear how police failed to make the connection.

Eyewitness News questioned authorities on this discovery after the state closed its case.

Edkins says it's common knowledge that she and the athlete remained friends after their romantic relationship ended several years ago.

Myburgh says the notable absence of any evidence related to Pistorius's phone during his trial may have undermined the case against him.

The entire call history and WhatsApp record on the athlete's personal handset was deleted, allegedly by his brother Carl.

Judge Thokozile Masipa added no value to the messages that were presented when she delivered her ruling.

During Pistorius's trial, the state referred to thousands of messages extracted from Steenkamp's phone that showed communication between the couple.

Myburgh says in such instances, the two devices would be compared.

"You will find information on A and you will verify with B. In this case, they didn't do that at all."

The Pistorius family sais in a statement on Wednesday that it was not aware of any deletions that could be relevant to the trial or could have impacted on the matter.