Johannesburg - Private forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal is still member of murder accused Oscar Pistorius’ defence team.
This is contrary to reports that the expert pathologist had withdrawn on Thursday.
On Friday, Pistorius’ spokesperson Anneliese Burgess and defence attorney Brian Webber lambasted the media for “incorrect and misleading” reports.
They are referring to a report by news agency AFP which stated that Perumal would not testify at the athlete’s murder trial – a blow to the defence after a week of savage cross-examination.
Perumal has appeared in many high-profile cases in South Africa, where a private pathologist can cost upwards of R20 000 a day.
He was hired by Pistorius in time to attend the model’s autopsy.
When asked by AFP if he would testify, the Durban-based pathologist reportedly said: “No ma’am. I think that you’re aware that I can’t say anything right now.”
But Pistorius’ legal team said this was untrue.
“Dr Reggie Perumal was engaged by the defence team to attend the post-mortem of Reeva Steenkamp following the tragic events on the 14th of February 2013.
“He remains a member of the defence team and continues to assist in his capacity as an expert consultant.
“The media reports suggesting that he has “withdrawn” from the Defence Team are devoid of all truth.”
He had been additionally called on the basis of his availability.
And Mr Wollie Wolmarans, the ballistics expert, also remains on the Defence Team – “and any contrary suggestion is malicious and misleading”.
Webber could not confirm whether Perumal would take the stand, but said a decision would be taken at a later stage.
On Thursday, Nel hammered defence expert Roger Dixon, a forensic geologist who testified on key elements of the Pistorius crime scene, including the order of the bullets that hit Steenkamp.
Nel, a legal veteran known as the “Pit Bull”, derided the quality of the expert’s testimony, accusing him of “misleading” the court.
“I am not trying to mislead the court,” said Dixon.
The witness later proclaimed on his Facebook page that his credibility had been “destroyed” in court.
Former policeman Roger Dixon was called by the Pistorius defence team to support the athlete’s claim that he didn’t intend to shoot Reeva Steenkamp.
Under cross-examination, Dixon has had to defend his lack of qualifications to make pronouncements on sound tests, blood spatters and ballistics.
Before his final day in court on Thursday, a humiliated Dixon said on Facebook: “Let’s see how much of my credibility, integrity and professional reputation is destroyed. After that, beer!’” - Saturday Star