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2 minute read
9 Apr 2014
10:46 am

Pistorius demonstrates hitting door

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was asked to demonstrate how he kicked and hit the door of his toilet through which he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp, in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

FILE PICTURE: Oscar Pistorius looks on during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, Monday, 7 April 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day in 2013. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP/Pool

His lawyer Barry Roux first asked him to show how high he could kick at the door with his prosthetic legs on. Pistorius got out of the stand and took up position in front of the door, which is part of a mock-up of the cubicle in his house.

“Please don’t kick the door,” Roux cautioned him.

“Show how high you can lift your prosthesis in a kicking motion.”

Pistorius swung his right leg up to the level of the door handle.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp, apparently thinking she was an intruder, through the locked door of his toilet on February 14 last year. He found her slumped over the toilet after he broke the door down. She was shot in the hip, arm, and head.

According to his bail application statement he then kicked at the door and smashed it open with his cricket bat.

Pistorius got back into the stand, but did not sit down.

“Now would you demonstrate how you would have handled the cricket bat?” Roux asked.

The athlete hesitated, sat down and spoke into the microphone. He referred to testimony and a demonstration by Colonel Johannes Vermeulen, who testified that Pistorius would have had to have swung the bat in an “unnatural way” had he been on his prosthetic legs.

“In breaking down the door you don’t swing the bat in a natural way. I used my entire body. It’s very hard to demonstrate how I did it in a passive way,” Pistorius said.

He then got out of the stand and picked up the bat which was propped against the door. He swung it twice over his right shoulder. It connected with a mark, indicated by a sticker, several centimetres above the door handle.

“How hard did you hit the door?” Roux asked him when he got back into the stand.

“I hit the door with all my might.”

Roux asked him if he was standing in the same position while doing so.

Pistorius said he doubted this, since he was wearing his socks on his prosthetic legs and standing on a tiled floor.

The athlete is also charged with contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. 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.

Sapa