News / Africa

Prosecution Portrays Self-Centered Pistorius

Prosecutors in South Africa Portray Pistorius as Self-Centeredi
X
Pamela Dockins
April 10, 2014 4:24 PM
Prosecutors have attempted to portray South African athlete Oscar Pistorius as self-centered and abusive during a second day of cross-examination in his murder trial. Their questions have focused on Pistorius' relationship with his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, and the apology he gave to her family for her shooting death. VOA's Pam Dockins explains.

Prosecutors in South Africa Portray Pistorius as Self-Centered

VOA News
South African runner Oscar Pistorius returned to the witness stand in his murder trial Thursday, as prosecutors tried to portray him as self-centered in his relationship with girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel focused on the apology Pistorius made when he first began his testimony this week, saying the athlete chose to make a spectacle in the courtroom rather than apologize in private.
 
Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
x
Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
Nel: “The word 'I’m sorry I killed her' is not there. You’re sorry that you have to think of them, you’re sorry for their pain and sorrow, but you’re not sorry that you killed their daughter; it’s not in there,” said Nel.

Pistorius: “I’m terribly sorry that I took the life of their daughter, my lady.”

Nel: “Now you say that.”

Pistorius said he did not have the chance to meet with Steenkamp's family, and that he believed they would not want to talk to him.

Negligent firearm owner

Nel also brought up the three lesser firearm-related charges in the case, which involve allegations of a gun going off in a restaurant and a car, as well as illegally possessing certain ammunition.

Pistorius said his understanding was that he was not illegally in possession of the ammunition, that his finger was not on the trigger when the gun went off at the restaurant and that witnesses lied about the other incident.

Nel repeatedly accused Pistorius of not taking responsibility and being a negligent firearm owner.

Temper

The prosecutor also returned to a series of text messages that defense lawyers used during their questioning of Pistorius, including one in which Steenkamp said she was scared of Pistorius at times.
FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
x
FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
FILE - An undated portfolio photo supplied by Ice Model Management in Johannesburg of Oscar Pistorius' late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, during a photo shoot.
Pistorius said she meant she was scared of how he reacted to things, but that he never shouted or screamed at her.  

He also denied earlier testimony by his former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, saying she lied when she told the court he had screamed at her during their relationship.

The tough cross-examination began Wednesday with Nel pressing Pistorius to take responsibility for killing Steenkamp, and telling him to look at a graphic picture of her bloodied head displayed on a monitor in the courtroom.

Prosecutors say Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp at his home last year.  If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

The athlete says he thought he was shooting an intruder when he fired shots through a locked backroom door.
 
  • Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, April 14, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 10, 2014.
  • Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
  • Family members, including uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, cry as they listen to Oscar Pistorius testifying in court in Pretoria, April 8, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius becomes emotional during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, April 7, 2014.
  • Members of the public crowd around Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the high court, Pretoria, March 12, 2014.

  • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl at his indictment at the magistrates court in Pretoria, August 19, 2013.
  • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, Feb. 14, 2013.
  • Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Jan. 26, 2013.
  • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sept. 8, 2012.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
April 10, 2014 2:40 PM
The lady run and locked herself in bathroom when this man took firearm .hang him


by: Timothy
April 10, 2014 11:31 AM
Oscar's demeanour and softly spoken voice in Court conveys the impression that he is a gentle person, but for Reeva to say in one of those SMS messages read into the Court Record, that she was sometimes afraid of him, illustrates there is another side to his character, which was unknown. The Prosecutor Mr Nel, should question him on this particular message. But no doubt he will try and explain it away with an ambiguous explanation.


by: Steve Z from: USA
April 10, 2014 7:33 AM
Perfect example of why some people should not be allowed to possess firearms. Even if it was a burglar, no one just shoots through a door 4 times without so much as a warning? Totally irresponsible and manslaughter at the least.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid