Pistorius case gets murkier

Athlete tells guard 'everything is fine' five minutes after shooting

Around 10 minutes after shooting dead his model girlfriend through a locked toilet door, South African track star Oscar Pistorius told a housing estate security guard "everything is fine", his murder trial heard on Friday.

Testifying on the fifth day of the trial at the Pretoria High Court, Pieter Baba, who was on guard duty the night Pistorius killed 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, said he received a call from the athlete at 3:21 a.m., around five minutes after Steenkamp was shot.Pistorius was too upset to say anything on the call, Baba said, speaking in Afrikaans through an interpreter.

However, when Baba – concerned that something was wrong – called him back a few minutes later, Pistorius told him: "Security, everything is fine." Baba delivered the quote in English.

The dramatic testimony from one of the first people on the scene capped a week of hearings in which several witnesses described hearing a woman's shouts and screams before a volley of shots in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

Steenkamp died after being hit by three of four rounds fired by Pistorius from a 9 mm pistol through the door of a toilet cubicle in an upstairs bathroom in his luxury home in a Pretoria gated community. 

As well as the murder charge, Pistorius is being tried for three firearms offences, part of prosecution attempts to portray him as a gun-obsessed hot-head.

Earlier on Friday, ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the court how a seething Pistorius had fired his pistol out of a car's open sun-roof after a heated argument with a police officer in September 2012.

Taylor said she, Pistorius and a friend, Darren Fresco, had been pulled over by a policeman for speeding. When he saw Pistorius' pistol lying on the car seat, the officer picked it up and emptied its magazine onto the floor of the car, prompting an outburst from Pistorius, she said.

When they were allowed to go on their way, Pistorius and Fresco started to joke about shooting out a traffic light, known in South Africa as a robot, Taylor said.

"Oscar was very angry," said Taylor, who was sitting in the back seat at the time of the incident. "Thereafter they were joking around and saying they wanted to shoot a robot.

 Two minutes later, I saw Oscar take his gun and shoot out of the car roof. A very loud sound. They both laughed," she said.

Taylor's testimony comes two days after the court heard how Pistorius accidentally fired a pistol under the table in a packed Johannesburg restaurant – right next to a child – and then asked his friend Fresco to take the blame.

Taylor, who broke up with Pistorius when he started dating Steenkamp in late 2012, also described two other incidents in which Pistorius drew his gun.

Taylor, who broke into sobs twice during her testimony, also said there had been "one or two" other occasions when Pistorius woke her after hearing noises during the night.

Assembly elections 2019 | Get the latest news, views and analysis on elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on DeccanHerald.com


For election-related news in Maharashtra, click here

For election-related news in Haryana, click here

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)