Court hears Oscar and Reeva’s ‘loving’ texts

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Defence advocate Barry Roux at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Pretoria - The defence in the Oscar Pistorius trial has spent Tuesday morning trying to disprove the State's assertion that Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had serious issues in their relationship.

On Monday, the High Court in Pretoria heard of two arguments the couple had in the month leading up to Steenkamp's death.

In their WhatsApp conversations, Steenkamp wrote of how frightened she was of the athlete when he was angry. They also revealed a strong jealous streak as he fought with her for allegedly flirting with another man, despite his own serial dating prior to their relationship.

“We are living in a double standards relationship,” she wrote.

“I do everything to make you happy… you do everything to throw tantrums,” she continued.

Pistorius had also appeared to be highly critical and apparently had problems with Steenkamp's accent and when she chewed gum.

On Tuesday morning, defence advocate Barry Roux revealed more texts between Steenkamp and Pistorius.

He said the State had found only four conversations out of the more than 1700 text messages that showed the couple arguing.

Cellphone expert Captain Francois Moller who was back in stand on Tuesday admitted this was the case.

Roux told the court he wouldn't refer to the conversation about Steenkamp's use of marijuana as this reflected on her character, rather than his client.

Roux then asked Moller to read other messages between the two.

The lawyer said these exchanges showed no fight between the couple and a general friendly communication between them.

Roux also pointed out that a short while after the argument detailed on Monday, Steenkamp was already sending affectionate messages to Pistorius.

On Monday, Moller told the court that 90 percent of the couple's conversations were loving. But Tuesday morning, Roux said this percentage should be higher.

Another message from shortly before the shooting showed Pistorius complaining of a shoulder injury, which the defence argued was the reason he had been sleeping on Steenkamp's usual side of the bed.

Roux also asked if there were any messages proving that Pistorius had asked his friend Darren Fresco to take the blame after accidentally firing a gun at the Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch.

On Monday, the court heard that Pistorius had sent a message asking Steenkamp to not say a thing as “Darren” had taken the blame.

Moller said no texts indicated directly that Pistorius had asked Fresco to take the blame.

Roux insisted that Steenkamp's email and web history be presented to the court.

Steenkamp's web history showed she had an interest in vehicle trader sites, much like the ones shown when Pistorius's iPad web history was shown to the court last week.

Roux said there were also WhatsApp messages between the couple about motor vehicles.

Another tweet also suggested that when cars were involved, she was “happy”.

Roux brought up a CCTV clip screened through a British media outlet showing Pistorius and Steenkamp on February 4, 2013, a short while before the shooting.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected to Roux screening this clip in court, as he felt it was inadmissable evidence.

The clip was allowed, and the court was shown the couple in a garage shop. Pistorius is seen giving Steenkamp a kiss while near one of the racks.

Roux argued this was yet another indication of the couple's love for each other.

Roux continued to present numerous messages and emails dripping with affection between the two.

“Truth is, I miss you. I'm missing you so much,” Steenkamp emailed Pistorius on January 29.

Just days before the shooting, on February 11, 2013, at around 11am, Steenkamp messaged Pistorius: “I'm always on your side. I'm pro-you and your career, but mostly pro-us,” she wrote.

“Lots of hugs, I hope you have a super blessed day... I've said a little prayer for both of us,” she continued.

“Thank you so much for being strong, my angel... I am taking your advice,” Pistorius responded.

Steenkamp also asked if she could cook for Pistorius on Valentine's Day, the day she was shot.

In his re-examination, Nel asked if Moller had found any lengthy conversations about their “loving” relationship.

Moller said there was nothing like that, with mostly one-line affectionate messages.

Nel pointed out that seven days before she was shot, Steenkamp messaged Pistorius: “I can't be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you - the person who should protect me...the one person I deserve protection from.”

But it appeared that Steenkamp had deleted Pistorius's response.

There was no further communication until the next morning.

shain.germaner@inl.co.za

The Star

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