Pretoria — Paralympian Oscar Pistorius asked his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp not to mention him allegedly firing a gun in a restaurant because the media would print lies, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.
"Angel please don't say a thing to anyone," prosecutor Gerrie Nel quoted from a WhatsApp message Pistorius sent to Steenkamp. Nel was cross-examining the athlete.
He is charged with the murder of Steenkamp and three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.
He allegedly fired a shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol under a table at Tasha's, in Johannesburg, in January 2013. The restaurant was full and there were children at the next table at the time.
Nel asked him why it was important for Steenkamp not to mention the Tasha's shooting.
"I didn't want to be in the media for having a firearm in my possession in a restaurant," Pistorius replied, avoiding looking at Nel.
Nel suggested to Pistorius that he actually tried to shirk responsibility.
Pistorius: "It was a mistake on my behalf and I didn't want it to be taken out of context."
Nel: "You just thought the media would print lies?"
Pistorius: "That's correct."
The athlete is accused of deliberately killing Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on February 14 last year.
He shot her through the locked door of a toilet cubicle, saying later he thought she was an intruder.
He is also charged with illegal possession of ammunition and two counts of discharging a firearm in public, including the Tasha's incident.
He also allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.
Pistorius has denied guilt on all the charges.