Pretoria - Gerrie Nel has continued his brutal cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, pointing out contradictions between Pistorius' bail application and his verbal testimony In court.
Pistorius earlier had conceded he wasn't on the balcony when fetching fans just prior to his shooting of Reeva Steenkamp, as they were in the balcony doorway.
While he acknowledged the errors in his affidavit, Pistorius said “there would probably be things (he'd) add”. Nel pointed out that defence advocate Barry Roux had insisted that the affidavit was perfectly correct, and had challenged former investigator Hilton Botha about Pistorius' presence on the balcony during the athlete's bail application last year.
Pistorius said Roux had possibly made a mistake.
In Pistorius' plea argument, his defence mentioned the crime scene had been contaminated because of poor investigation. Nel asked why this qualified as a reason the athlete wasn't guilty. “Is it still your version the scene was tampered with?” Nel asked. Pistorius said it was, and that his lawyers had told him there were inconsistencies on the crime scene and certain items had been moved.
But Nel said this wasn't good enough, and wanted concrete examples.
Pistorius mentioned that the cellphones in his bathroom, cricket bat, firearm and some of the items in his bedroom had been moved.
Nel asked why police would move the cellphones. Pistorius said he couldn't remember where he left Steenkamp's cellphone after trying to use it to call for help.
“There were people without protective clothing going through my house,” Pistorius said. Nel said that Pistorius had many prepared answers in his head he was providing, but had failed to directly answer the state's questioning.
When Judge Thokozile Masipa intervened at Nel's questioning of specific words in his bail affidavit, Nel argued that state witnesses were put into the same position by the defence.
Nel tried to find out which expert witnesses Pistorius' legal team would call to prove the contamination, but Pistorius evaded the question. But when shown pictures of his bedroom, Pistorius struggled to articulate exactly what had been moved.
He also had difficulty determining exactly where the two fans in his room had been or where they were plugged in.
“My memory isn't so good... I'm under a lot of strain. I'm defending my life,” said Pistorius.
But Nel said this testimony was important because it would prove Pistorius was lying.
Nel argued that there was no space for the smaller fan to be plugged in on the plug socket.
Nel insisted that Pistorius was trying to adapt his story, and that the athlete had never gone to fetch it on the night of the shooting.
“I have to tell the truth,” said Pistorius, prompting Nel to say this particular line was rehearsed.
Nel asked if Pistorius had intended to shoot anyone that night, and Pistorius said this was not what he wanted to do. He said the noise inside the toilet cubicle had frightened him into firing.
“I believed a person was coming out to attack me. I didn't have time to think,” said Pistorius.
When asked if he “fired accidentally”, Pistorius said firing was an accident. “Let me put it in a way you will understand: was the only way out for you to shoot this intruder to protect yourself?” Nel queried.
“I didn't have time to think,” Pistorius responded.
“Why are you emotional now?” Nel asked when Pistorius became upset when describing how he felt the enormity of the situation after firing.
But Masipa said that Pistorius was allowed to become emotional. “If I don't think of any implication of every word I say, my life is on the line,” said Pistorius.
“Reeva doesn't have a life any more... Now answer the questions and give us the truth,” responded Nel.
Eventually, Pistorius admitted that based on his experience it was an accident that he fired his weapon.