PARALYMPIC star Oscar Pistorius insisted he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by “mistake” yesterday as he came under fierce cross-examination for the first time in his murder trial.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the South African to look at a graphic image of Steenkamp’s fatal head wounds in court, urging him to “take responsibility”. “It’s time that you look at it,” Nel added.
Pistorius declined, replying: “I remember. I don’t have to look at a picture. I was there.”
The double amputee athlete, 27, shot model and television personality Steenkamp dead through the bathroom door of his home in a Pretoria gated community in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year. The state has accused him of deliberately killing her after an argument; he says he shot her in the erroneous belief that she was an intruder.
“I made a mistake,” Pistorius told the court when told by Nel to acknowledge that he had killed the 29-year-old.
Asked by the prosecutor what the mistake was, Pistorius said he “took Reeva’s life”. “You killed her,” Nel retorted. “You shot and killed her.”
Pistorius faces a life sentence, with at least 25 years in prison, if found guilty. The trial, initially scheduled to take three weeks when it started on 2 March, is expected to last until the middle of next month.