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'Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.'

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published by Art Publishers (PTY) Ltd
First Edition, First Printing 2013
ISBN: 1-920380-32-9
Copyright in the Works 2013: All rights reserved.
Copyright in the Text Laurie A Claase 2013
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form
without prior written consent of the publisher
Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: 34
A Prince of the Physical World 66
From Superman to Gunman 90
Timeline of the Key Events 130
Unanswered Questions 134
Endnotes 136
Oscar Pistorius skiet sy
vriendin in sy huis dood
omdat hy glo dink sy is 'n
8:03 AM - 14 Feb 13
Oscar Pistorius shoots his girlfriend dead because he thought
news to shocked South Africans at 8:03am on Valentines
Day 2013. It came from Beeld, the daily Afrikaans-language
newspaper in Oscars home town of Pretoria. Shock rippled
through cyberspace and the airwaves, the networks and the
newspapers. But it was social gossip channel Twitter that
remained a prime mover of the story as events unfolded.
Beeld reporters Fanie van Rooyen and Hilda Fourie had Beeld
Apparently, the burglar story had come from the police
a Captain Sarah Mcira who had informed the Beeld at Beeld
by a story from crime reporter Fanie van Rooyen on the
newspapers website, at 8:04am: Oscar Shoots Friend, Taken
into Custody. He gave a few more details: Captain Mcira
reportedly also told Beeld that Pistorius girlfriend had been Beeld
shot in the arm and the head and had been declared dead on
to the South African TV programme 'Carte Blanche' who
accessed security camera footage. However, later that day,
Associated Press (AP) quoted police spokeswoman Lt. Col.
Katlego Mogale who said that police had been called at
Later international and
local media reports claimed police and/or security guards
were called to the house by neighbours who reported a
call-out varies from 1am to 1:30am to two hours before shots
were heard. By 4am, people on the scene included: security
guards, neighbours, family members, lawyers, locksmiths,
call a
Police spokeswoman
Lt. Col. Katlego Mogale
Police spokeswoman Denise
Beukes briefs the media outside
Silver Woods Country Estate in
Pretoria East, where Oscar Pistorius
has his home, 14 February 2013
Chapter One
conference later that morning outside Silver Woods Estate,
the high-security residential complex where Pistorius lives.
Police distanced themselves from the burglar story. Police
spokeswoman Captain Denise Beukes told the assembled
press that:
the South African Police Service (SAPS) were just as
surprised to hear on the radio that allegations had been
made that the deceased had been perceived to be a burglar.
We were very surprised and those allegations didnt come
from us At this stage there are no signs of forced entry or
persons on the premises who werent supposed to be there
morning neighbours and people that heard things that
happened earlier in the evening and when the shooting took
place We have received some reports about screaming and
e received some
reports about screaming
and shouting.
Police spokeswoman
Cpt. Denise Beukes
gunshots and a womans
screams. Almost ten
minutes later there were
Yep. @DignitySAfrica: @
michellep777 Have you
also heard the rumours
about a prominent rugby
player alleged to be
involved somehow?
10:42 PM - 15 Feb 13
Beukes mentioned previous incidents at Pistorius home:
Allegations of a domestic nature. By the end of that bloody
Valentines Day, Pistorius had been charged with murder and
the State had made it clear it was going to oppose bail.
Beeld Beeld
shooting. On 13 February, in a piece entitled Dood Agter die shooting. On 13 February, in a piece entitled shooting. On 13 February, in a piece entitled
guards of Silver Woods Estate in the east of Pretoria, were
called to Pistorius luxury house around two hours before
the shots. Security guards were called again around 3:30am
accompanied by screams. had obviously tracked
claimed that a neighbours husband, who was a doctor, had
resuscitate her. From what they heard it doesnt sound like an
Almost ten minutes later there were three more shots.
Media-fuelled and Twitter-fed rumours percolated around
the motive for the argument if argument thered been. A
tweet on 13 February asked Have u heard rumours about a
rugby player alleged to be involved somehow: We all have.
to which Eyewitness News Pretoria correspondent Barry
Bateman responded, Yep, and Nelson Mandelas personal
assistant, Zelda Le Grange, replied half the world knows it '
Cape Town paper Die Burger repeated the rumours that an Die Burger
SMS from Springbok rugby player Francois Hougaard to
Steenkamp may have been the spark. However, on 4 March,
Barry Bateman of Eyewitness News poured cold water on
these claims. Cellphone data shows no record of rugby player
Francois Hougaard calling or sending a text message
to any of the phones.
More details emerged from Beelds
newshounds on 16 February. In a report entitled Sy het Nog
Francois Hougaard is a Springbok
rugby player. When not playing
for his country, Hougaard plays
club Blue Bulls, based in Pretoria.
the same agent with Reeva
Steenkamp and had reportedly
dated Reeva before she started
going out with Oscar.
Francois Hougaard
her head, which is why
the bullet also went
City Press
Geleef , the paper claimed that the model was shot four
times while she was in the bathroom. She was shot in the
When the security guards arrived at the house, Pistorius
was standing with Steenkamp in his arms. Pistorius gave
Steenkamp mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Oscars car was idling and the keys were in the ignition,
according to .
City Press took over the baton
Oscar. Fleshing out the initial reports in Beeld, the national
and Steenkamp was shot in the head, hip, arm and hand.
Apparently, one cartridge was found in the bedroom.
bedroom, hit her in the hip. She then ran and locked herself
in the toilet. She was doubled over because of the pain. He
is why the bullet also went through her hand.
In an interview broadcast by Britains Channel 3 on 3 June,
Reevas mother June echoed the scenario painted by City
Press. She must have been so afraid in that toilet. Someones
bullet had hit her so she must have been in severe pain also.
City Press revealed that police had found Reevas overnight
9mm pistol on Oscars side of the bed. City Press also claimed
that a bloodied cricket bat was a key piece of evidence and
that Steenkamps skull was crushed. According to the paper,
down the stairs with Reevas body dangling from his arms.
Chapter One
A lawyer friend and a neighbour of Oscars arrived around
claimed KwaZulu-Natals Sunday Tribune on 17 February.
In a sworn statement to the police, she said she had rushed
over to Oscars house in response to his frantic phone call
that there had been a shooting. She opened the door of
his home at exactly 3.20am on Valentines morning and
saw Pistorius carry Steenkamp down the stairs, her body
drenched in blood.
By the time an ambulance arrived at 03:42am, according
to security camera footage obtained by actuality TV show
'Carte Blanche' Reeva Steenkamp was already dead, covered
Oscar Pistorius at his Silver
Woods home in Pretoria East,
22 April 2009
very neat and tidy
Hilton Botha
in bloody towels at the foot of the stairs. An ambulance
paramedic described what he saw to the Cape-based Weekend
Argus newspaper in an article published Argus
on 17 February 2013 under the headline,
As soon as I walked in, I saw a womans
body by the stairs and she was covered
up the stairs that I could see She
was lying on her back at the bottom
of the stairs and we were told that
she had been shot upstairs, and
that Oscar had carried her down
to the bottom. She had sustained
a gunshot wound to her head
and her right arm When
we attached the ECG (electro-
cardiogram) monitor there
was no sign of life, her heart
had already stopped beating.
Apparently, Pistorius had
told the medic that Reeva had stopped
breathing three minutes before the ambulance arrived.
More details of the scene emerged in overseas newspapers.
Steroids Found at Blade Runners Mansion blazed
on 18 February, the day before Pistorius bail hearing was
due to begin. Quoting a source close to the investigation,
the newspaper also alleged that investigators had found
evidence of heavy drinking. A later article in the UKs Daily
Star Star
However, in an
interview with Vanity Fair Vanity Fair
such claims. It was a big house and very neat and tidy
Chapter One
Magistrate Desmond Nair is a
former prosecutor from Dundee
in KwaZulu-Natal. He was a
magistrate in the Specialised
Commercial Crimes courts before
becoming head of the Pretoria
Magistrates Court. He has
presided over a number of high-
the Blue Bulls rugby player, who
Ntshimane Mogale to death in
August 2010. Roux claimed that
the Metro cop wanted to rob him
and thus he defended himself.
with murder but was ultimately
convicted in September 2011 of
culpable homicide and drunk
received a suspended sentence and
agreed to pay Sergeant Mogales
widow R730 000.
Desmond Nair
appearance in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Friday
and forensic investigations still ongoing, the State was basing
its opposition to bail on the objective facts to hand: evidence
collected on the scene, statements from security guards and
neighbours and Reevas post-mortem results. When the bail
had been remarkably accurate.
bathroom door. On the second day of the bail hearing, the
Botha described what he found at the athletes house in the
early hours of Valentines Day.
I arrived at the scene at about 04:13. I found the deceased
lying at the bottom of the stairs. She was already declared
dead by medics. She had on white shorts and a black vest. She
was covered in towels.
However, what Reeva had been wearing when she was
Weekend Argus, who had arrived on the scene before
Detective Botha, said that Steenkamp had been wearing
a black sweat top and long pants, but no shoes. City Press
claimed that Reeva had been wearing her nightie at the
time. In his summation at the end of the bail hearing, the
magistrate, Desmond Nair, mentioned a bullet hole through
the white pants, showing that Steenkamp was dressed when
she was shot. In the security camera footage that shows
Reeva driving into Oscars estate at 6pm on the Wednesday
four shots; three
killed the woman. She
locked herself in the
Gerrie Nel
evening of 13 February, she is wearing a dark singlet.
As you enter you see the staircase. At the bottom, on the
right you have the main bedroom. If you enter the bedroom
the room entrance is behind you, bathroom entrance to the
about 6,8 metres.
A passage with cupboards through it leads to the bathroom.
You have to turn right to get into the bathroom. Standing in
is 1,4 by 1,14 metres.
against the shower door, are two wash basins in the extreme
right-hand corner of the bathroom. Botha described what
he found in Pistorius bathroom that morning. I saw part of
The floor plan of Oscar Pistorius'
bedroom and bathroom
Chapter One
was found in the
toilet bowl that wasnt
discovered by your
Barry Roux
the door. Four cartridges found. I saw one cartridge in the
passageway, three in the bathroom.
While this cartridge in the passageway was omitted by
Botha in the documents submitted in his evidence in chief,
Magistrate Nair included it in his summation of the police
one 9mm cartridge in the doorway between the bedroom
and the bathroom One projectile hit the wall in the top
concede that a spent bullet cartridge was found in the toilet
a cartridge or a bullet that was found in the toilet bowl: And
a cartridge and a projectile in gun parlance.
Each component part of a round of ammunition is enclosed
the empty cartridge is then automatically and instantly ejected
from the chamber, and a fresh round takes its place.
cartridges and four projectiles. If a spent cartridge, rather than
Botha continued with his description of the bathroom,
reportedly a Taurus 9mm parabellum for which Pistorius
had a licence. He did not have a licence, however, for the
38-caliber pistol rounds police found in his safe. Despite
threatening to add to Pistorius charge sheet, it emerged that
police never took photographs of the ammunition they
were too busy taking photographs of Oscars medals, some
rounds away.
In front of the shower, next to the gun, were two cellphones.
An iPhone 4 and iPhone 3 were found on the carpet close
to the shower door, next to the toilet, Botha told the court.
the UKs Daily Mail on 20 February. Botha collected these
two cellphones and two more Blackberrys, which were
in months.
through the door. Four
cartridges found. I saw
one cartridge in the
passageway; three in the
Hilton Botha
Chapter One
needles and injections. In the bedroom, Pistorius had an
Pistorius bail hearing, Oakley had suspended their contract
So much for the scene of the crime. Also in the States
arsenal were the autopsy results and two witness statements.
wounds: the right side of the head, the right elbow (broken
as had earlier media reports. Despite fervid reporting of
a bloodied cricket bat at the scene, and a fractured skull,
Court Room C at the Pretoria
Magistrate's Court where Oscar
Pistorius' bail hearing was heard,
19-22 February 2013: Prosecutor
Gerrie Nel, Defence Attorney
Barry Roux, Magistrate Desmond
Nair, Defendant Oscar Pistorius,
and Warrant Officer Hilton Botha
Oscar Pistorius in the Pretoria
Magistrates Court with his uncle
Arnold, sister Aimee and brother
Carl, 19 February 2013
no signs of an assault on Reevas body and no signs of her
defending herself from assault.
Two witnesses signed statements testifying to an argument
and police were called out more than once because of the
woman screaming and two sets of gunshots. But, as defence
Ballistics were still dealing with projectiles, distances and
angles. Hilton Botha admitted that Ballistics hasnt told
me anything. Forensics hasnt told me. Im standing here
without expert evidence.
Yet, the one incontrovertible fact remained and Prosecutor
many are still alive: Botha: One.
in the house. How many
Gerrie Nel
Chapter One
According to the evidence led during Oscar Pistorius four-
day bail hearing in February 2013, these, it would seem, are
the undisputed facts:
A seven-metre-long passageway between a bedroom
and a bathroom

boyfriend through a locked toilet door

outside by a cricket bat
A key is outside the toilet door
Four cartridges found: one in the passageway, three in
the bathroom
A cartridge or a projectile in the toilet bowl

A gun holster on the same side of the bed as a womans
slippers and overnight bag

signs of assault or defensive wounds
Witness testimony of arguments, screaming and two
So how to explain the objective facts: Heres the
Prosecutions version.
Murder by another name
shooting, the charge against him is one count of murder
they were gunning for premeditated murder a Schedule 6
plays a role in bail and sentencing. Oscar Pistorius will at
least face culpable homicide. But the State says it is planned
murder. Murder is the unlawful and intentional killing of
another human being. To prove murder the State must show
at least face culpable
homicide. But the
State says it is planned
Gerrie Nel