Ex-cop tells of Oscar crime scene

Comment on this story


oscar notes

MEDIA POOL

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court. Picture: Alet Pretorius

Pretoria - The thirteenth witness brought to the stand was Colonel Giliam van Rensburg, who attended to the scene of the crime after Oscar Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

The court was told by State prosecutor Gerrie Nel that media broadcasting the testimony would warn viewers that graphic images of the crime scene could be displayed.

Van Rensburg was station commander at Boschkop police station. He had resigned from the police in December, after 29 years on the force.

On the day Steenkamp was killed, he was attending to another scene, an armed robbery.

After the case had been handled, he left and went back to the station.

A new call came in at around 3.15am about an incident at the Silverwoods Country Estate.

At around 3.55am, Van Rensburg arrived on the scene to find an ambulance outside Pistorius's home.

He approached the house, where he saw security officers.

He went inside and saw on the left hand side of the stairs, a person's body lay in a pool of blood, towels and black bags covering it. When he got inside, a female paramedic approached him, and told him that the person had died on the paramedics' arrival.

He said he and the paramedics had removed the items covering the body. The paramedics showed him the head wound, a wound on the right hand side of her waist and another on the right arm above the elbow. There was also a wound on the left hand between her middle fingers.

After that he moved into the kitchen, where he saw Pistorius, who was very emotional at this stage.

Van Rensburg asked him what had happened, but Pistorius, still crying, didn't answer.

Van Rensburg contacted the forensics team, crime scene photographers and medical officers to attend to the scene.

Nel asked if anyone else was at the home.

There was a white woman, later known to be the daughter of estate manager, Johan Stander, who was talking with and consoling Pistorius.

Clarice Stander approached Van Rensburg and mentioned that Pistorius had contacted her father as he needed their assistance.

She said that when they arrived, Pistorius was busy taking Steenkamp's body down the stairs.

Pistorius allegedly asked Stander to take his gun so he could transport Steenkamp to the hospital.

Stander has then told Pistorius that should not take her and should rather call and wait for an ambulance.

Stander's daughter had been the one to get the plastic bags to try and stop the bleeding.

The trio had also fetched extra towels for the same purpose.

According to Clarice, they then called the paramedics.

Pistorius allegedly said to them that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder, and that he had shot her.

During Van Rensburg's discussion with Clarice, Pistorius remained in the kitchen, pacing.

Van Rensburg told him to stand next to the basin, and Pistorius complied. The officer then ordered the scene be closed to ensure no one entered or exited.

An investigating officer, Hilton Botha, then arrived. According to Van Rensburg, Botha was more experienced.

Van Rensburg showed the body to Botha, and followed the trail of blood upstairs.

Nel interrupted the testimony to ask about the home's front entrance and staircase. The court was shown a couch in the entrance hall with two spots of blood on its arm.

Another chair nearby and the wall between the stairs and the kitchen had spots of blood as well.

The tiles of the staircase, the rail and adjacent wall had also been spattered with blood, showing Pistorius's trail from the first floor as he carried Steenkamp's body.

The officer then continued his testimony.

When Botha and Van Rensburg went upstairs, the door to the balcony was locked, but they found the key.

During van Rensburg's testimony, Pistorius's head was in his hands as he bent over in the dock.

Earlier Nel began his re-examination of forensic expert Colonel Johannes Vermeulen by pointing out that only a few millimetres of wood were missing from the door.

Vermeulen said it would not have changed his analysis of the door if they were present.

Nel then confirmed that Vermeulen believed that his findings of the angle of the bat when it struck the door were correct, and the only option.

Vermeulen also said that at least one of the bullet holes was there before the panel was broken.

But he was unable to give a timeline for the mark that had allegedly been created when Pistorius kicked the door.

He said he couldn't scientifically determine when the kicking would have taken place.

He added there had been no need for a microscopic analysis of the door, and had come to his conclusion through a macroscopic investigation of the marks on the door.

Vermeulen was then stood down.

shain.germaner@inl.co.za

The Star

Click here for IOL’s live blog about the Oscar trial.


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.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory