PRETORIA – The sequence of shots fired on the night Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend came under intense scrutiny in the Gauteng North High Court on Thursday.
The 27-year-old is accused of murdering Reeva Steenkamp at his Silver Woods Country Estate home in Pretoria East on Valentine’s Day last year.
He also faces gun-related charges in connection with two separate shooting incidents, one from a moving car and another at a crowded Johannesburg north restaurant.
Pistorius also faces a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.
The athlete pleaded not guilty to all charges on the first day of his murder trial on 3 March.
He spent a third day on the stand in the Pretoria court answering questions put to him by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
The state focused on whether the shots fired at the toilet door were in quick succession and whether there was an intention to kill.
The athlete said he remembered pulling the trigger and said he was aiming at the door without thinking.
“You didn’t aim at anything,” asked Nel, also known as the ‘bull terrier’ for his aggressive and relentless line of questioning.
Pistorius responded, “The firearm was aimed at the door at the time, my lady.”
“Did you want to shoot a person or people coming out of the door or not,” the prosecutor then asked him.
“I didn’t have time to think if I wanted to or didn’t want to. I heard a noise coming from inside the toilet and I discharged the firearm,” the ‘Blade Runner’ said.
The prosecutor made it clear that from an objective point of view, there was absolutely no reason for the athlete to shoot on the day in question.
Pistorius said he could not remember how many shots he fired through the door and was only told later that it was four times.
Nel then quickly questioned whether his evidence about the shots was drawn from his memory or a reconstruction.
He said it was based on facts he had obtained after the shooting.
BACK TO THE ROOM
Nel asked the athlete why he didn’t see the Port Elizabeth model leave the bed and head to the bathroom.
“No, I didn’t see her get up my lady,” Pistorius said. “I was busy bringing in the fans and closing the doors. My back was facing the room.”
Nel also asked the ‘Blade Runner’ when they had dinner.
The Olympic and Paralympic athlete said it was around 8pm when they had a meal.
The prosecutor then wanted to know if Steenkamp could have eaten something else, without Pistorius knowing.
“I don’t think so my lady,” he replied.
Nel devoted a lot of his cross-examination on Thursday trying to show that Pistorius is a negligent gun owner.
The matter has been adjourned and will resume on Friday morning.