Oscar Pistorius has been branded a liar, a person who does not take responsibility for his actions and who thought everything was always about him.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, during Pistorius’s fourth day on the witness stand, subjected the Blade Runner to further gruelling cross-examination and within the first few seconds into the day’s proceedings in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday reminded him three times that he killed Reeva Steenkamp.
“On February 13 last year, there were only two people in the house. The one person was killed by you, so you are the only one who can tell us what happened,” Nel said.
This was shortly followed by: “Tell us about your relationship, because Reeva cannot. You killed her.”
Nel also questioned why Pistorius, before the entire world, had apologised to the Steenkamp family, but said “the words I killed Reeva” were nowhere in the pubic apology.
It was a pale and tense-looking Pistorius who awaited his fate at the hands of Nel yesterday morning. He remained calm as he was bombarded by the questions and only became slightly emotional when he told Nel that he did not intend shooting anyone in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year and that it was “an accident”.
Pistorius said that in the weeks leading up to Steenkamp’s death, their relationship became stronger and they started to trust each other. But Nel said that looking at their messages to each other, that was when their arguments started.
“Those arguments were all about what’s important to you. Apart from writing ‘Baby’, ‘Boo Boo’ and ‘Ba’, you never wrote long messages to her. She never told you she loved you and you never said that to her. The arguments were about things which were important to you. It’s always about Oscar Pistorius.”
Nel questioned Pistorius as to why, at the start of his evidence, more than a year after the killing, he had insisted on apologising in front of the whole world to the Steenkamps and why he had not done this in private.
“Did you feel better after the apology? Why did you create a spectacle in court, in public? Why did you not do this in private? Were you not humble enough?” Nel asked.
Pistorius said he had wanted to apologise to the family earlier, but was told they were not ready for it. That was why he had done it now.
“The words ‘I killed her’ are not there. You are not sorry for killing their daughter,” Nel said. Pistorius responded: “I am terribly sorry I took the life of their daughter, My Lady.”
June Steenkamp again sat stony-faced in the public gallery and just stared at Pistorius.
Nel said that looking at the exchange of messages between him and Steenkamp before her death, he blamed her for their fights and would not take responsibility for anything which had happened between them.
Nel said Pistorius would not even take responsibility for killing her. The messages showed that Pistorius picked on Steenkamp, belittled her in public and became irritated with her on occasion. Pistorius admitted he might have brushed her off at times, but they had always sorted things out. “I never spoke to her in a way which did not make her feel like a lady.”
Pistorius admitted he never got the opportunity to tell Steenkamp he loved her, although she, in a message, said she planned to later tell him she loved him.