Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Defending Oscar - Team Pistorius' Case

analysis

On Tuesday, Oscar Pistorius' defence team rested their case. It's taken them over three months to complete, thanks to various delays - most notably the 30-day mental evaluation of Pistorius in a psychiatric hospital. The defence called fewer witnesses than the state: 16, to the state's 21. While the state and the defence prepare their closing arguments to be heard before the court in a month's time, REBECCA DAVIS summarises the defence's witness testimony.

(Warning: Because this is a summary, we had to leave stuff out. Please don't get mad - it's still really long. We hope all the important bits are in here.)

Witness 1: Jan Botha

Position: Forensic pathologist

Testimony summary: Cast doubt on state pathologist Gert Saayman's testimony that Reeva Steenkamp had last eaten around 1am, saying her last meal could have been eaten "considerably longer" before her death. Contested state ballistics evidence, saying Steenkamp would have been positioned too high if she had fallen onto magazine rack as claimed by Captain Mangena. Said it would be "highly unlikely" for Steenkamp to have been able to cry out during bullets.

Questions arising: The first - but not the last - defence witness to seemingly overstep his area...

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