Bullet that missed Reeva ‘fired down’

Comment on this story
IOL pic mar19 oscar leaves court on tuesday Reuters Oscar Pistorius (centre) is surrounded by journalists as he leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on March 18, 2014. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Ballistic expert Captain Christian Mangena is expected to testify on Wednesday whether Oscar Pistorius was without his prosthetic legs when he fired shots that killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Taking the stand on Tuesday, Mangena told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria he had performed tests linking the holes in the toilet door through which the athlete fired his handgun with marks on the tiles, and the position of Steenkamp's fatal wounds.

The one bullet that missed Steenkamp was fired at a downward angle of five to six degrees, Mangena said, adding that he had used laser technology to back up conventional ballistic tests.

After questioning Mangena at length about his methods and the results of his measurements, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said he would prefer to leave questions as to his conclusions for Thursday.

Mangena, the fourth police expert, followed colleagues who were vigorously cross-examined by Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, as he seeks to make a case that police failed to preserve the scene of the shooting and tampered with evidence.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp in his house on February 14 last year, but contends that he mistook her for an intruder.

He has also denied two charges of contravening the Firearms Control Act. - Sapa

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines