Nel asked Pistorius to compare it to an exploding watermelon that he had been filmed shooting at.
“You know that the same happened to Reeva’s head. It exploded,” said Nel after showing Pistorius a clip from a SkyNews video of Pistorius at a shooting range.
Pistorius was asked to look at a picture of Reeva Steenkamp whom he had admitted shooting dead in a toilet in his house.
With a screen right next to him, he would not.
Steenkamp’s mother June was held tight by a friend in the front of the court as a picture of her daughter with blood and tissue on her blonde hair was shown.
Pistorius said: I will not look at a picture of where I am tormented by what I saw.”
Nel said: “It is the same thing as a watermelon.”
As the court gasped, Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux SC jumped up and said: “That is uncalled for.”
Pistorius started crying and Judge Thokozile Masipa allowed an adjournment for Pistorius to compose himself.
Even hardened reporters in the gallery were seen wiping away tears and saying “Jesus” under their breath.
Pistorius has pleaded not guilty as charged.
During the adjournment, another prosecutor Andrea Johnson went over to June Steenkamp.
She told Steenkamp and her family and friends, within earshot of the gallery, that what had happened in court happened in murder trials every day.