Pistorius’ version of events could be correct
After a short lunch break athlete Oscar Pistorius’ bail application continued in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday with the defence rounding on the officer investigating the fatal shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.
Advocate Barry Roux began by asking investigating officer Hilton Botha if he stood by everything he said earlier on the shooting at Pistorius’ house, which led to Pistorius being charged with murder.
Roux had put it to Botha earlier that Pistorius’ version of events could be correct.
Pistorius has said he thought there was an intruder in the house then realised it was Steenkamp.
Botha replied: “I can’t say because I have not seen all the forensic statements, but I would say the applicant’s version is consistent with the evidence.”
Before this, Botha had told State prosecutor Gerrie Nel he believed Pistorius knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom when he fired the fatal shots.
“I believe he knew she was in the bathroom and he shot four shots in the bathroom and killed her,” investigating officer Botha testified on Tuesday.
He was responding to questions from prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who is opposing an application for bail by Pistorius.
In an affidavit on Tuesday, Pistorius told the court he thought he was firing shots at an intruder in the bathroom.
Steenkamp was shot dead early on February 14 at Pistorius’s home in Pretoria.
His shoulders shaking as he wept, Pistorius listened while his lawyer drew the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court back to his version of how he shot his girlfriend.
“When you don’t have your prosthesis on you are more vulnerable,” advocate Barry Roux told the court in an application for bail by the double amputee.
A paralympian medallist and finalist at last year’s Olympic Games, Pistorius is charged with murdering Steenkamp.
After testimony in which police investigating officer Hilton Botha said he believed Pistorius knew he was shooting Steenkamp, Roux worked on reeling the court back to Pistorius’ version of events.
Roux asked Botha whether Steenkamp would have locked herself in the bathroom, away from danger, had she heard Pistorius scream while she was in the bathroom.
“That is true,” said Botha.
On Tuesday, in his affidavit, Pistorius said he heard a noise in the bathroom, fetched his firearm and called out to Steenkamp to call the police.
He then fired shots through the bathroom door, before realising Steenkamp was inside. He carried her downstairs, where she died.
Roux argued it was more consistent that Pistorius was in the corridor between the bathroom and the bedroom when he fired one of the four shots.
Botha agreed, as one of the cartridges was found in that area.
The court heard that Steenkamp’s body did not show any defensive wounds.
Roux told Botha that the post mortem had found that Steenkamp’s bladder was empty and said this was consistent with someone going to the toilet to relieve themselves.
Pistorius broke down again when this was discussed.
Earlier, Botha told the court a holster and female slippers were found on the left-hand side of the bed.
Botha had testified that investigators found injection needles in a box under a television set.
Roux said testosterone found at Pistorius’ home was herbal and not banned.
“It is a herbal remedy,” he said. “It is not a steroid and it’s not a banned substance.” He said the police should get it tested by a pharmacist as soon as possible.
“It’s been gathered and they are doing tests,” said Botha, who was being cross-examined by Roux.
Botha’s testimony forms part of the State’s opposition to an application for bail by Pistorius.
Pistorius has not formally pleaded yet, but has denied the murder allegation in an affidavit, which was read to the court on Tuesday.
Roux asked Botha if the police had checked with Netcare whether Pistorius had called them, as he said in his affidavit.
“No, we didn’t,” said Botha.
The court heard earlier that four cellphones were found at Pistorius’ home - two Blackberrys and two iPhones.
He had phone Netcare using a fifth cellphone.
Botha said that when police arrived, they found two Blackberry phones in Pistorius’s room, and two iPhones in the bathroom.
Botha said the phones had not been used “in months”.
In his affidavit Pistorius said he had called Netcare emergency services but Botha said these phones had not been used.
Meanwhile, Pistorius has no more local sponsorships and endorsements, his manager Peet van Zyl said on Wednesday. “There is no local sponsor left for Pistorius.... Besides the M-Net deal, he was mainly sponsored by international companies,” he said.
Sports giant Nike, sunglasses company Oakley and two United States companies have cut their ties with Pistorius since he was charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early on Thursday.