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Pretoria - Always know your target and what lies beyond. This firearm-handling rule was among many others Oscar Pistorius listed when he undertook a firearm competency test on September 22, 2012.
But just five months later, he fired four shots through a locked bathroom door, killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The State maintains that he knew what lay behind the locked door, and that he killed Steenkamp intentionally.
His version is that he thought there was an intruder in his bathroom.
Regardless, the “know-your-target” rule flew out of the window when he heard noises coming from his bathroom on February 14 last year.
Other rules he listed in his assessment script were “never fire into the air”, “always keep your finger off the trigger” and “do not handle unnecessarily”.
But just eight days after taking the test, which is mandatory for firearm licence applications, he allegedly fired shots through the sunroof of a moving BMW he had been travelling in on the N1 North after the Grasmere toll plaza.
This was to express his anger at metro police officers who had stopped them for driving at 260km/h.
Then in January the next year, just four months after taking the competency test, he ignored two rules: “Always keep your finger off the trigger” and “do not handle unnecessarily”.
This was at Tashas restaurant in Melrose, where he allegedly discharged a firearm and grazed a friend’s foot after his friend Darren Fresco passed it to him under the table.
Fresco testified last week that Pistorius had a great love for firearms, corroborating a story published by The Star in February last year that Pistorius had applied for a Maverick shotgun, a Winchester shotgun, a Mossberg shotgun, a Smith & Wesson Model 500 revolver, a .38 Special revolver and a Vector .223 rifle.
The firearms were never handed over to Pistorius as he cancelled the order a month after Steenkamp’s murder, Sean Rens, the firearms dealer from whom Pistorius had procured the firearms, told the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.
Rens met Pistorius for the first time in May 2012, he told the court. “He wanted a specific type of revolver and wanted me to procure it – a Smith & Wesson Model 500 revolver,” Rens said.
As part of his competency test, Pistorius completed a questionnaire which sought to assess his reaction to various scenarios, indicating whether lethal force would be justified in each case:
* You are at home alone in an isolated area, far from police or security services. You happen to look out of your window and you see two strange men jump over your wall and make their way towards your house. You do not know these men, and you are not expecting visitors because it is late. Have they committed an offence that justifies the use of lethal force against them?
* The men come to your house and proceed to break off the burglar bars of one of your windows and enter your house through the window. They go to your lounge and start to remove your extremely expensive hi-fi. Can you discharge a firearm at them at this point?
* When the burglars, who are stealing your hi-fi, become aware of your presence, they turn and they order you to go away or they will kill you. You are behind a security gate, 10m away. Can you discharge a firearm at them because you fear for your life?
* There is no security gate between you and burglars and they turn around and both are armed, one with a knife and the other with a firearm in their hands, and they advance towards you. Can you discharge a firearm at them because you fear for your life?