5 May 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Was Broken - Neighbour

Oscar Pistorius' chief defense lawyer predicted that he would wrap up his case by the middle of May, giving the double-amputee athlete about two more ... ( Resource: Pistorius Trial: What's Ahead )

Pretoria — Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius was "broken" shortly after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his Pretoria home, the High Court in Pretoria hear on Monday.

"We tried to calm Mr Pistorius down. He was broken," neighbour Johan Stander said to questioning by Kenny Oldwadge, for Pistorius.

"He was screaming, he was crying, he was praying. He was torn apart, broken, desperate."

The paralympian called Stander at 3.18am on Valentine's Day last year, shortly after Steenkamp was shot. The Standers and Pistorius both lived in the Silver Woods Estate, Pretoria.

Stander told the court that when Pistorius called him he said: "Oom (uncle) Johan please, please, please come to my house. I shot Reeva, I thought she was an intruder.

"Please, please, please come quick."

Stander said when he got out of bed his daughter came out of her room and said she just heard someone scream. His wife told her that Pistorius called and said "he shot Reeva", Stander told the court.

He said his daughter was driving the car and parked in the street.

"The two of us were rushing to the front door, it was slightly open and there was a light burning," he recalled.

He said the door was slightly open and his daughter was in front of him and she pushed the door open.

"We saw Mr Pistorius coming down the stairs with Reeva in his arms," he said.

"When Mr Pistorius saw us there was relief in his face."

He said when Pistorius reached bottom of the stairs his daughter asked him to put Steenkamp down.

"He was really crying. He was in pain and he asked us to please assist him to put Reeva in the car and take her to the hospital," he said.

Stander was emotional and Oldwadge told him to take his time.

Steenkamp's mother, June, was in court with her lawyer and friend on Monday. Steenkamp's Johannesburg friends, the Myers family, were also in court.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp. He shot her through the locked toilet door of his home on February 14 last year, apparently thinking she was an intruder.

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

Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. On September 30, 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

He has also denied guilt on these charges.

Pistorius sat on the dock on Monday morning, looking at Stander as he gave evidence.

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