Roux: Oscar's actions dominated by 'vulnerability & anxiety'

Advocate Barry Roux says Pistorius believed his life and that of Reeva Steenkamp’s was in danger.

Oscar Pistorius arriving at the High Court in Pretoria on 15 October 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Defence advocate Barry Roux has started his closing argument in the Oscar Pistorius trial, saying the athlete's actions on the day he killed his girlfriend were dominated by vulnerability and anxiety.

Roux says Pistorius believed his life and that of Reeva Steenkamp's was in danger and that's why he opened fire on a locked bathroom door on Valentine's Day last year.

Last month, the blade runner was found guilty of culpable homicide in the High Court in Pretoria.

Roux says Paralympian Pistorius did not foresee that he would kill the person behind the door.

"Is it just someone walking to the door, thinking there's an intruder and recklessly firing shots into the door or is it a compromised person reacting excessively?"

Roux says unlike in the case of musician Molemo 'Jub Jub' Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala, Pistorius did not consciously act unlawfully.

"They knew they could not race cars in a street. They consciously acted unlawfully. If you look at the facts in this case, there was no - unlawful act is one thing because its objective standards. But the accused did not consciously act unlawfully."

The defence advocate says Pistorius has become the victim during this trial; first by being charged with premeditated murder.

He says at first there were allegations that he was under the influence, taking steroids and killed Steenkamp in a fit of rage.

Roux maintains that Pistorius had no idea his girlfriend was behind the bathroom door.

He's also mentioned the notion of Ubuntu and says the athlete should be punished in a way in which he can give back to society, coupled with an apology so that he can do well by the victim and the family.

Roux says the athlete has also been subjected to unfair media reports and scrutiny and it all started with him being charged with premeditated murder.

He says Pistorius will continue to face anguish as the media and people on social media continue to blame and ridicule him.

"The denigration, the humiliation, the ridicule, the blame, the false allegations are ongoing worldwide."

Roux says Pistorius has lost everything.

"It is that permanent excruciating pain is that it's you that caused the death of a loved one. It is you. That will never go away. Whatever punishment… lifelong, 15 years, 10 years, correctional supervision… it can never be equated to that pain."

He says the athlete has lost everything else; money, contracts, properties, friends and his career.


The defence advocate also has referred to the money Pistorius paid to the Steenkamps in his final argument.

He says the athlete does not want the money paid to them over the last 18 months back.

Barry Steenkamp arriving at the High Court in Pretoria ahead of Oscar Pistorius sentencing.

It emerged in court on Tuesday Reeva's parents have been accepting R6,000 month from Pistorius.

Roux says the blade runner has also put money in a trust in case Reeva's family changes their minds about a civil case, saying Pistorius desperately wants to take responsibility and make amends.

The state will get a chance to make its closing argument later.

Pictures: Christa Eybers/EWN.

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