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Oscar describes time with Reeva

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REUTERS

Oscar Pistorius, centre, arrives to attend his trial at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius has spent Tuesday morning detailing his relationship with the woman he would eventually kill, Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete has also provided further details on the arguments between he and his girlfriend that were presented before court by the State last month.

Pistorius stands accused of shooting and killing his model girlfriend in February 2013, with his murder trial ongoing at the High Court in Pretoria.

Pistorius told the court on Tuesday morning he had met Steenkamp on 4 November 2012 at a car event. They had hit it off over lunch, and he had told his friend Justin Divaris he wanted to take her to a sports awards ceremony.

Pistorius said he thought Steenkamp wouldn't be interested, but Divaris said he should ask her. She agreed, and Divaris later asked Pistorius how it went. Pistorius told him it was a fantastic date that ended with them talking into the wee hours.

He said she later went overseas for a TV shoot and they saw each other less frequently, but in December they got to know each other better.

Just after Christmas, he went to Cape Town and Steenkamp asked if she could join him.

In January, the relationship “really got going” according to Pistorius. He said that at times he thought he was more invested in the relationship than she.

“We both had things that kept us back… We had both come out of difficult relationships,” he said.

Pistorius said that the couple had plans for later in the year. They had booked a holiday in March, and wanted to visit her brother overseas together in June.

They had discussed Pistorius moving to Joburg, and she had also been looking for a new home.

The couple shared a common interest in motor vehicles, and Pistorius described Steenkamp as a “car enthusiast”.

Defence advocate Barry Roux questioned Pistorius on a WhatsApp argument between the couple.

Steenkamp had angrily told Pistorius she wasn't a “stripper” or a “ho”.

Pistorius said Steenkamp may have been overreacting to an earlier issue between them about a friend who had given him a carving of a rabbit.

In another WhatsApp argument, Steenkamp had gotten angry after the couple had a fight at a friend's engagement. She accused Pistorius of having many girlfriends before her, and how he had gotten upset about her speaking about her ex-boyfriend.

When he read her WhatsApp message to the court, his voice quivered when she spoke of how she had “let go” for him “even when (she) was scared out of her mind” and how he had criticised her for minor things, like chewing bubblegum.

Pistorius explained the couple were at Darren Fresco's engagement party, and it “was a bad day in (their) relationship”.

The couple were running late before the party, causing tension. At one point, he said he couldn't eat the food at the party because of a strict diet. Steenkamp began speaking to someone who Pistorius didn't know, and, when she didn't introduce Pistorius to the person, the athlete stormed off. They ended up having an argument where she said he “wasn't kind” to her.

This had led to her angry WhatsApp messages, which were already presented to the court by the State last month.

Pistorius then read out his WhatsApp apology, saying it was no excuse that he was ill and tired at the party.

He apologised for criticising her actions, and for speaking without thinking.

“I want to talk to you. I want to sort this out. I don't want to have anything less than amazing for you and I,” Pistorius wrote to Steenkamp at the time.

He then gave more information on another argument, which began at another event.

Pistorius didn't want to stop while leaving for media photos, but Steenkamp stopped to talk to a friend.

Pistorius said he was upset because he had to train early the next morning and wanted to leave immediately. This led to a WhatsApp fight, where Steenkamp said she had to deal with difficulties from others regarding their relationship, and didn't need Pistorius to be hostile as well.

Pistorius said these arguments were all resolved quickly, and the “unhappiness was over”.

Roux read out another text between them where Pistorius warned Steenkamp against running. The athlete said he was worried about her safety as her neighbourhood was dangerous.

Pistorius also told the court that his previous relationship with Samantha Taylor, had come to a sour end when she allegedly admitted to sleeping with someone else while he was at the Olympics. Taylor had testified as a State witness where she said Pistorius had been aggressive to her friends and family and unfaithful to her.

Pistorius also revealed Steenkamp had also allegedly received much hate mail for dating the athlete.

Steenkamp had also told Pistorius about how she had managed to get abusive Twitter accounts targetting her removed from the website.

While reading loving messages between himself and Steenkamp, Pistorius repeatedly wiped his face with a handkerchief to mop up his tears.

Meanwhile, Taylor had also tweeted about Pistorius's testimony, accusing him of lying, but almost immediately deleted the tweet.

On Monday, when Pistorius first took the stand, he took the opportunity to tearfully apologise to the Steenkamp family, and gave a detailed personal and professional history.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!shain.germaner@inl.co.za

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