Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius’ trial heard crucial testimony on Friday as a prosecutor challenged the double-amputee sprinter over why his girlfriend had failed to scream when he shot her four times through a toilet door.
Gerrie Nel, one of South Africa’s top attorneys, said it was beyond belief that Reeva Steenkamp would have remained silent in the cubicle with an armed Pistorius shouting and screaming in the adjoining bathroom.
Pistorius, who says he fired at what he thought was an intruder, has testified that Steenkamp did not cry out during the incident on Feb. 14, 2013.
However, under withering cross-examination from Nel, Pistorius was forced to concede he could not have heard whether she screamed or not because his ears were ringing from the sound of gunfire.
People living nearby have testified to hearing a woman’s screams before and during a volley of shots.
“She’s awake. She’s in the toilet. You’re shouting. You’re screaming. You’re three metres from her. She would have responded. She would not have been quiet, Pistorius,” Nel said.
“She didn’t respond, my Lady,” Pistorius replied, addressing judge Thokozile Masipa.
“Did she scream at all whilst you shot her four times?” Nel continued.
“No, my Lady.”
“Are you sure? Are you sure, Mr Pistorius, that Reeva did not scream after the first shot?” Nel continued. “Are you, Mr Pistorius?”
After a brief silence, Pistorius said: “My Lady, I wish she had let me know she was there.”
“After you fired the first shot, did she scream?” Nel asked.
“No, my Lady.”
“Are you sure? Would you have heard her?”
“I don’t think I would have heard her.”