News

Oscar Pistorius says Reeva died in his arms after 'accident'

Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp

THERE were tears, drama and unexpected revelations on the first day of arguments in what is expected to become South Africa's most compelling trial since the end of Apartheid.

The day, in a crowded and unruly courtroom in Pretoria, hinged on the magistrate's acceptance of the prosecution's argument that Olympian Oscar Pistorius should be charged with premeditated murder.

As the 26-year-old athlete hunched forward sobbing uncontrollably, news reached the court that the coffin of his dead girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, had arrived at her funeral hundreds of miles away in Port Elizabeth.

After a long morning in which the defence and prosecution sparred over the nature of premeditation, proceedings burst into life as the magistrate said he could not rule out the notion that the killing had been pre-planned.

The decision dramatically raised the bar on the defence's application for bail and handed the first round in what will be a marathon legal battle to prosecutor, Gerrie Nel.

Lead counsel for the defence, Barry Roux, responded by unveiling an affidavit that finally gave Mr Pistorius's account of what happened in the early hours of Valentine's Day when his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead.

The athlete had spent a quiet night with his girlfriend at his home in the luxury security estate on the outskirts of Pretoria, the court was told.

She had done some yoga exercises while he watched television before they both turned in for the night.

In the early hours of the morning, the runner awoke and went out onto the balcony without strapping on his prosthetic legs to recover a fan, according to the affidavit.

"I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom," said Mr Pistorius's sworn statement. "I felt a sense of terror rushing over me."

He then claims he went back inside, collected the 9mm handgun he keeps in case of intruders and went in to the bathroom without switching on the lights.

"As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger."

His response was to shoot through the door of the cubicle and return to the bedroom to look for his girlfriend.

Only when he found the bed empty, he claimed, did it dawn on him that he may have shot Ms Steenkamp.

He forced entrance to the cubicle, found her still alive and carried her downstairs. "Reeva died in my arms," he statement said.

This account of a romantic night in gone horrifically wrong contrasted sharply with what the prosecutor, Mr Nel, had earlier called the "cold facts" of the case.

He said that it was clear that Ms Steenkamp had spent the evening with the accused, citing her overnight bag and vanity case found at the scene.

He then described the distance of 7m between the bed and the small cubicle toilet in which the 29-year-old model had died.

Four shots had been fired, three of them hitting Ms Steenkamp.

"There was no possible support for the claim that it was a burglar,"

Mr Nel said. "He armed himself, walked seven metres and shot a defenceless person inside a small space where there was no possible escape."

Dressed in a grey suit and flanked by his father, brother and sister, Amy, one of the most recognisable figures in sport sobbed his way through proceedings.

At one point the magistrate paused the hearing asking Mr Pistorius to "compose" himself, warning that he did not want him leaving the court without having understood what had taken place.

The unexpected arrival of the affidavit so early in proceedings prompted the defence to request a holdover until today.

Topics:  editors picks oscar pistorius reeva steenkamp



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

VIDEO: Gav 'the greatest water man' farewelled

Gavin Arthur ashes were scattered today at Brunswick.

Gav was sent off just the way he would have wanted.

Shed backflip a decision community might rue

Dr Steve Phillips.

Koala expert warns community might one day rue "grandstanding” move.

A good brew from Tweed

COOL BEANS: Spencer Davidson and Petter Havnegjerde are expanding to sell coffee from Behind the Grind in Chinderah.

Coffee on the go in Chinderah.

Local Partners

Community love on show for Tate family with fundraiser

JAMES Tate's life and spirit continue to be celebrated with an event raising $27,000 for his wife Beck and daughter Lillie.


Production company desperately seeks men

Tammy Dundon and Melissa Quirk.

When you see the movie you'll think ours is even better

Sharky and the Caddman share their stories and music

Brian Cadd and Glenn Shorrock will play Twin Towns on Saturday, February 25.

Sometimes the best plans are hatched over a nice bottle of red

Group cultivates Tyalgum patch

The Heart Collectors are an acoustic folk group from Tyalgum formed by Kymrie Henge, Tristan Dafoe, Mobius Barnaby and Reuben Loire.

Band stealing hearts at home and abroad

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

WHEN an ex-vegan pacifist says "I think people that score strategically need a kick in the shins”, the MKR gloves are off.

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

Get Moo-ving to Mooball

The old Pacific Highway and Murwillumbah railway line cut a parrallel path throughThe thriving village of Mooball , looking North East towards Murwillumbah and Mount Warning.

An expansion plan has been approved.

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

How a first home buyer built house with no deposit

NEARLY THERE: Construction on the first house to home orphans at Umoja began in January.



Photo Contributed

His home will be completed later this year.

Luxurious living in Tweed

1/27 Charles St, Tweed Heads

Check out this week's feature property.

Just a lazy $2.9 million, this hideaway could be yours

Fancy a rainforest hideaway?

“We figured we wanted to spend more time outside."

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!