Oscar Pistorius trial: Prosecution ends cross-examination

Prosecution ends cross-examination signalling athlete armed himself with 'the sole purpose' of shooting and killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

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The Independent Online

After five ferocious days, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel concluded his cross examination of Oscar Pistorius in an almost mellow statement of what he has sought to establish as the devastating facts.

"On the evidence, my argument is that the court will make the following findings," he said.

"That Reeva ate within two hours of you having shot and killed her.

"That whilst awake eating, that is the argument that Ms Van der Merwe [a neighbour] heard.

"That the screaming Dr Burger heard [another neighbour] was Reeva escaping from you.

"You fired four shots through that door that you knew Reeva was standing behind. She was talking to you.

"She was locked in the toilet and you armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her."

The claims were accompanied at the appropriate moments, by quiet claims from Pistorius, addressed to the judge, of "that’s not true, my lady".

Aimee Pistorius moved to the witness box to hug her brother, and quite mysteriously, Pistorius’s psychologist silently clapped her hands.

If the facts as stated by the prosecution are not true, his defence counsel now has a difficult job on its hands, of rebuilding Pistorius’s story that has been flayed into ribbons with aggression and precision in equal parts.


The primary matter dealt with on the final morning, was why, when, on finally breaching the toilet cubicle, when according to Mr Nel, Pistorius’s panic would have been at its greatest, he did not scream out.

"I find it strange that your panic is not at its greatest when you see her," Nel said. "The first time you found Reeva. Why did you not scream then?"

Pistorius claimed that he "was overcome by sadness. I wouldn't have screamed out."

"Who should we blame for the fact you shot her?" Nel demanded, summing up. Blame is, of course, crucial. It carries culpability. Pistorius could only answer that "I thought someone was coming out to attack me."

"Should we blame Reeva for not telling you she was going to the toilet?" Nel continued. “Should we blame the government?

On the particularly gruesome type of bullets that hit her, Nel demanded: "Who should we blame for the Black Talon ammunition that ripped through her?"

"Its ammunition used for my type of firearm," Pistorius claimed.

Pistorius's story has come under intense scrutiny from the chief prosecutor who accused the athlete of lying and tailoring his version of events after five dramatic days of cross-examination, in which the athlete has cried, retched and sobbed prompting judge Masipa to call an adjournment three times on Monday.

He denies murdering Ms Steenkamp, claiming he shot her in a case of mistaken identity thinking she was an intruder.

The case continues.