Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius introduced Reeva Steenkamp as his fiancee just a week before he shot her, a close neighbour of the runner testified in his defence on Tuesday. Michael Nhlengethwa, who describes himself as Pistorius’s “closest neighbour,” said the Paralympian introduced the 29-year-old model to him shortly before her death on Valentine’s Day morning in 2013.
“Pistorius had said ‘please meet my fiancee, Reeva,” Nhlengethwa said. The athlete nicknamed the “Blade Runner” claims he and his girlfriend of three months were in a loving relationship and that he shot her accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder. On the night of the shooting, Nhlengethwa said he woke up to the sound of a man crying. “A man was crying very loud,” he said. “It was like crying when you were in danger, when you need help.”
Defence lawyer Barry Roux asked the witness if the voice was low- or high-pitched. “You said a man’s voice. Was it a low pitch?” asked Roux. “It was a very high-pitched voice,” replied Nhlengethwa.
The defence claims that Reeva never screamed the night she was shot four times, alleging it was Pistorius screaming “like a woman” under the effect of stress.