State's case against Oscar is strong - NPA

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IOL oscar yesterday REUTERS Murder accused Oscar Pistorius. File photo: Reuters


Pretoria - The State is confident about its murder case against paralympian Oscar Pistorius, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

Investigating officer Hilton Botha had not been “discredited” by the defence’s examination earlier in the day, NPA spokesman Medupi Simasiku told reporters in Pretoria.

“It is normal for the cross-examination to happen like that. We believe that he (Botha) is strong enough to stand that (examination),” said Simasiku.

“The bail application is still on, but as the State we remain confident that we will get what we want. Until tomorrow (when the bail application resumes), the status quo remains the same.”

The State is opposing Pistorius' application for bail in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

On Wednesday, advocate Barry Roux accused the police of contaminating the scene while investigating the St Valentine’s Day shooting of Pistorius' girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He accused Botha of walking around the house, in Pretoria, without protective shoe covers.

Botha said he should have worn them, “but they were not around”.

Roux again asked Botha if there was nothing in Pistorius' statement that was inconsistent with the scene.

“Yes, at this stage,” said Botha.

A commotion erupted later along Pretorius street, when the police moved Pistorius from the court.

Dozens of photographers were waiting at the exit when two police double cab vehicles sped from the court. Pistorius was in the second vehicle, with a jacket over his head. The car had black rubber mats on its windows.

Photographers pursued the vehicles from the back exit of the court, along Pretorius street and into Bosman street in peak-hour traffic. They gave up only when the police cars reached Francis Baard street.

Pistorius was arrested early on Thursday morning after his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his home at Silver Woods country estate. He was charged with murder on Friday.

The State intends arguing that Steenkamp’s murder was pre-meditated.

Pistorius has been emotional throughout his appearances, particularly on Tuesday when his affidavit on the shooting was read to the court. His brother Carl was there to support him.

In the 10-page affidavit read to the court by Roux, Pistorius denied the murder allegation “in the strongest terms”.

“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp,” he said. - Sapa

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