11 April 2014

South Africa: Oscar Didn't Trust Police

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius in court (file photo).

Pretoria — The High Court in Pretoria on Friday heard that murder-accused Oscar Pistorius did not trust the police enough to report an incident in which he was shot at on the highway.

"I didn't trust the police to be able to do anything about the situation," Pistorius said under cross-examination from prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

"I didn't trust that they would be able to do anything about it. Didn't see how they could possibly find out who did it."

Pistorius is on trial, charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. She was shot through the locked toilet door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

He said he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty and in his plea statement denied he had argued with her shortly before the shooting.

On Friday, Nel questioned Pistorius on the shooting incident on the highway.

Pistorius said the shooting happened in 2008 or 2009 while he was on his way back to Pretoria one night after an interview.

He said he was driving and a car came up behind him. He moved over and the black Mercedes Benz moved in front of him. He saw a muzzle flash from the back of the car.

"I could hear a banging noise and I saw a reddish-white explosion," Pistorius said.

"I have no idea why they fired at me."

Pistorius said he was certain it was a gun and not a camera flash.

Nel questioned him on other cars on the highway at the time and if he had an altercation with the driver of the Mercedes.

The athlete said in all probability that there were other vehicles on the road but he did not remember. He said he had not been involved in an altercation.

Pistorius said he afterwards parked at Rhapsody's restaurant where he called someone to fetch him.

Nel asked: "Who did you call?"

Pistorius responded: "I can't remember."

Nel said: "You can't tell the court that on this traumatic incident, you can't remember who you called?"

Pistorius said that he could not remember who he called and added that his lawyers had questioned him about it.

Nel said: "It's so improbable that you can't remember who you phoned... It's cause it didn't happen and that's why you don't want anyone to follow up."

Nel said it did not make sense.

Pistorius replied: "If I can remember who I called then they could elaborate but I can't remember."

When questioned about how he got back his car, the athlete said he could not remember this either.

Pistorius agreed that it was serious but said that he did not go to the police to find out.

Nel said his father Henke Pistorius had similar views that he expressed in the media.

Pistorius said that he did not hear what his father said. But he was not surprised because he grew up in a family where they did call the police after crime was committed and no one was arrested.

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