Prosecutors focus on Oscar’s character

Johannesburg -

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will continue in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Oscar Pistorius leaves court after the third day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in Pretoria, on March 5, 2014. Picture: Mike Hutchings. Credit: Reuters

He is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14 last year. Pistorius claims he mistook her for a burglar.

Prosecutors on Wednesday turned their attention to an unrelated accident with a loaded gun for which he passed blame to a friend.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel called professional boxer Kevin Lerena to the stand to tell the court how Pistorius set off a friend's firearm in a crowded restaurant.

This happened in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, a month before the athlete shot Steenkamp.

Lerena said one of the men at the table, Darren Fresco, warned Pistorius that there was a bullet in the gun's chamber. Subsequently, it went off in Pistorius's hand and he apologised profusely, then asked Fresco to shoulder the blame because he did not want negative publicity.

Pistorius on Monday pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder.

While the first two days of the trial were taken up by State witnesses challenging his version of events, the State on Wednesday appeared to be taking aim at his character by calling witnesses to describe the accident in the restaurant. - Sapa