‘You don’t take responsibility, Oscar’Comment on this story
Pretoria - The State has continued its argument that Oscar Pistorius refuses to take responsibility for his actions.
The athlete is currently in the High Court in Pretoria, facing four charges including the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius was questioned about how after an incident at Tasha's where he'd accidentally discharged a firearm he'd messaged Steenkamp to not tell anyone about the incident. The athlete said he didn't want to be in the media in a story that would put him in a poor light.
Pistorius admitted he thought the media would misinterpret what had happened.
His friend Darren Fresco, who was at the restaurant when the incident happened, had told the court he had taken the blame for the accident on Pistorius's request - which the athlete has denied.
Pistorius said he had taken responsibility with the restaurant's management, but didn't want to have it splashed across the media.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel insisted Pistorius's story was entirely unbelievable.
“You fired that gun. There is no other way the gun (could have gone off). You are lying,” Nel put to Pistorius.
Nel also queried the .38 ammunition found in Pistorius' safe. The prosecutor asked if Pistorius was the one who “controlled” the safe. But Pistorius said others also had access to the safe.
His father had asked him to keep the ammunition. Pistorius did not have a licence to possess this ammunition.
“Did you know your father refused to make a statement?” Nel asked. The prosecutor then said the State had unsuccessfully tried to get Pistorius's father to admit he owned the ammo.
Pistorius said he hadn't spoken to his father for many years. Nel asked why someone with whom Pistorius had no relationship would be able to store his ammo in the athlete's safe. Pistorius answered that he had spoken with his father but had no relationship.
Pistorius said his lawyer, Barry Roux, had advised about keeping the ammo for his father, but he was unable to explain exactly what Roux said the law would be concerning keeping the ammunition in his safe.
Nel said this was the third occasion that he blamed his legal team for his own mistakes.
He argued that Pistorius as a gun enthusiast would know the law surrounding possession of ammunition. “You just don't want to take responsibility,” said Nel.
The State also got Pistorius to admit he illegally left a loaded magazine in his bedside table when he was not in the house - this despite owning more than one safe.
Pistorius then said he put the ammunition in the safe when he left home, and that the night he killed Steenkamp, he was still at home.
But Nel said this directly contradicted what Pistorius had admitted just minutes earlier.
“I'm dealing with your negligence as a firearm owner,” Nel told Pistorius when the athlete tried to say this had nothing to do with the charge about the .38 ammunition.
“Sometimes you're negligent as far as your other magazine is concerned,” Nel said, and Pistorius said this was correct.
Pistorius said he did not know his father had not made a statement to the State.
Nel then moved on to another incident where Pistorius allegedly fired a bullet through his friend Darren Fresco's car sunroof.
Pistorius, Fresco and the athlete's then girlfriend Samantha Taylor had been at the Vaal River for an event. Pistorius admitted he had taken a gun with him to this get-together, as he didn't want to leave it in his car while he and his friends were boating.
Pistorius then admitted when he swam, he had left his loaded gun on a towel on board. Once again, Pistorius was accused of negligence, which he denied. Nel insisted that once again the athlete had failed to take responsibility for his actions. Eventually, Pistorius admitted leaving the gun unattended was negligent.
Pistorius told the court he carried his gun everywhere for his own safety.
The prosecution moved onto when Fresco, Taylor and Pistorius were pulled over by police when he left the Vaal.
Pistorius conceded when he went to deal with the metro police officers, he shouldn't have left his gun in the car.
Nel said the policeman who picked up the gun was within his rights to confiscate it.
The officer who handled the gun emptied it, and ejected a round into the car. Pistorius said the officer had mishandled the gun by disassembling it and dropping the magazine, annoying him.
“Do you know what I can do with this firearm?” the officer had said aggressively, according to Pistorius.
It was after leaving the officers in Fresco's car that he and Taylor said Pistorius had fired out the car's sunroof. Pistorius told the court this was a total fabrication, but Nel argued that they had clearly not worked together as their stories did not match up perfectly.
Pistorius said that Fresco and Taylor had communicated in the time since his arrest. However, Nel said that Pistorius's legal team had not called out either party on the stand when they gave testimony of how they had not been in touch.
Nel suddenly returned to the night of Steenkamp's shooting. Pistorius was asked how he shot through the bathroom door and Pistorius answered it was four shots in quick succession.
Roux had originally argued to State expert, Chris Mangena, that Pistorius had double tapped twice, meaning two sets of two bullets. But Pistorius was unable to explain why this had changed. Pistorius said he had corrected Roux in the break after Mangena's testimony.
Pistorius said he was so terrified he couldn't remember the number of shots he fired at his bathroom door, but that he'd done it in quick succession.
Nel then read through Pistorius's earlier testimony where he said he had fired four shots and asked the athlete if this was a reconstruction. Pistorius said he had taken the facts he knew after into account.
“I remember firing four shots at the door,” Pistorius had said, according to Nel.
Pistorius said he maintained he did not fire his gun deliberately, and the noise inside the toilet cubicle had frightened him into firing.
Nel argued that objectively, Pistorius had no reason to fire on the door. The athlete agreed.
Pistorius said if Steenkamp had spoken to him, he wouldn't have fired.