True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective
Nel continues with cross-examination of Oscar.
Nel establishes that there were only two people in the house that night, Oscar and Reeva.
Oscar states that in January 2013, he and Reeva were still in the foundation phase of their relationship. He also states that the relationship was different towards the end of January. Nel agrees, he refers to the Whatsapp messages and notes that there were arguments. Oscar says he believes the relationship got stronger although he does acknowledge arguments.
Oscar states that he does not text or write often, Reeva wrote far more than he did. He preferred to discuss things in person or over the phone. He also says that he never got the opportunity to tell her that he loved her.
Nel says all of the arguments were about Oscar. He also states that Oscar was preoccupied with his public persona.
Nel asks Oscar about the apology he made to the Steenkamp family at the beginning of trial. He asks him what he apologized for. Oscar says for the sorrow and emptiness that he’s caused the family and the friends. Nel wants to know if he felt better after that. Oscar doesn’t think that he could feel better. He hasn’t had the opportunity to apologize to them and it’s something that he’s wanted to do for a long time.
Nel asks him why he would create a spectacle in court to apologize and not do it in private. Oscar says he hasn’t had the opportunity to meet them and he didn’t think they’d be ready.
Nel asks Oscar if he considered how they would feel receiving this apology in court while sitting in a public gallery or did he only think about Oscar Pistorius.
Oscar says he did think about them. He can’t say if it was appropriate or not but it was what he thought was best. He goes on to say he would have loved the opportunity to meet Reeva’s parents but he didn’t think they would want that and he completely understands. Nel reads his statement and points out that it does not say that he’s sorry for killing their daughter. Oscar is crying now and states he is terribly sorry for taking the life of their daughter.
Nel moves on to the Whatsapp messages. They look at Reeva’s text from January 26.
Nel points out that these are Reeva’s words and points out some specific portions to Oscar:
• “You have picked on me incessantly”
Oscar says he treated her well. He did not feel like he picked on her incessantly. Perhaps they were having a rough time in their relationship.
• “Yesterday wasn’t nice for either of us but we managed to pull through and communicate well enough to show our care for each other is greater than the drama that attacked us”
Nel wants to know what happened yesterday. Oscar doesn’t recall.
• “I was not flirting with anyone today”
Oscar agrees that he did accuse her of flirting. He says they had an argument that day at Darren Fresco’s engagement party. A part of him was a little jealous and insecure and he told her that he felt she was flirting and it hurt his feelings. Oscar explains that he was letting the situation cool off before contacting her but she sent him this message first.
• “I feel sick that you suggested that and made a scene at the table, and made us leave early”
Nel asks him, what was this scene that he created? Oscar doesn’t answer and instead talks about how he had to leave early and go to training and she knew that. Nel points out to him that everything is about him. It all was about him and his needs. He asks him again, what was the scene all about? Oscar admits that he was agitated. When Reeva tried to tickle his neck he brushed her off and that is what she interpreted as making a scene.
• “I’m terribly disappointed in how the day ended and how you left me”
Oscar dropped her off at home and left and didn’t try to resolve it at that time. Oscar says they did resolve it, she had a friend with her and it wasn’t the time to talk. He wishes he did stay and sort it out at the time.
• “We are living a double standard relationship where you can be mad at how I deal with stuff but you are very quick to act cold and off-ish when you are unhappy”
Nel points out that Reeva believes their relationship is a double standard. Oscar states they were very different people and he thinks that he may be more sensitive to some things and maybe she didn’t speak to him when things were hurting her and felt like there were double standards in the relationship.
• “Every 5 seconds I hear how you dated another chick. You really have dated a lot of people yet you get upset if I mention one funny story with a long term boyfriend.
Nel asks him if this is correct and Oscar says that’s correct.
• “I do everything to make you happy and to not say anything to rock the boat with you”
• “You do everything to throw tantrums in front of people”
Oscar says he’s never thrown a tantrum in front of other people. He’s maybe brushed Reeva off, like at Darren’s party and one other time at the sports awards. He thinks that at the time she wrote this message she was upset and exaggerated some things. Oscar then says “My Lady, I’ve never said I didn’t throw a tantrum”. Nel points out that he just said he didn’t throw a tantrum. Oscar apologizes and corrects himself; says that he meant he has never thrown a tantrum with Reeva in front of people, not that he’s never thrown one in his life.
• “I’ve been upset with you for two days now. I’m so upset I left Darren’s party early. So upset. Can’t get that day back. I’m scared of you sometimes.”
Nel asks why is she scared of him? Oscar answers that he thinks she’s scared of the feelings that she has for him and the way he brushed her off. Nel corrects him… she’s not scared of her feelings. She’s scared of how you react to what she does. Nel asks if he shouted or screamed at her and Oscars says no.
Nel wants to confirm that he has screamed at Samantha Taylor before, according to her testimony. Oscar says he doesn’t ever remember screaming at Samantha. He did scream at one of her friends who was drunk and disorderly at one of his parties.
Oscar then says that there were many lies in Samantha Taylor’s testimony. Nel challenges him, why did Roux not expose those lies? Oscar answers to the effect of Mr. Roux might not have been able to keep up with her lies. Nel then says why didn’t you inform your lawyer that they were lies? Oscar says I’m sitting behind him in court; I don’t have direct communication with him. Nel reminds him that he was very active during the State’s case passing notes over to his lawyers. Oscar agrees. He said he did pass notes up to his other lawyer Mr. Weber but often times he didn’t pass them forward. So now it’s Weber’s fault. There’s always someone to blame.
Nel goes on to say that this is significant evidence about his character. If Samantha’s testimony about Oscar screaming at her and her friends wasn’t true, why was that not challenged in court? Oscar reiterates that he did not scream at Samantha, but he did scream at her friend once. The friend was drunk and disorderly at one of his parties and he asked her to leave.
• “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I’m not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe”
It was revealed later in testimony that after Darren’s party, when they were in a fight, they got in the car to drive home and Oscar put on the song “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” by Kendrick Lamar. Reeva was not very pleased with this.
• “I’m the girl that would let go with you even when I was scared out of my mind to. I’m the girl who fell in love with you and was going to tell you this weekend”
Nel points out that this is a significant issue and Oscar agrees. Nel also points out that Oscar never followed that up. He never addressed it and never told her he loved her. Oscar says he wrote back asking when they could talk, he wanted to work it out. But per the records he did not call her. The next time they spoke it was over more messages.
Nel tells Oscar that he never followed up on this because he didn’t care. Oscar says that’s not true.
I will point out this message was on January 26 and he killed her on February 14. They never exchanged the words I love you. However… Oscar felt it important to put in his bail affidavit that they were “deeply in love” and Reeva felt the same.
• “I’m also the girl that gets side-stepped when you’re in a shit mood”
Oscar is not sure what she means by side-stepped. He says if he’s in a bad mood its usually after training, he hasn’t eaten properly or didn’t have enough sleep… essentially explaining why he has bad moods.
• “I feel you think you have me, so why try anymore”
Reeva is saying to him you know you have me so you have stopped trying. Oscar admits that may have been how she felt at the time. So Nel summarizes that as of January 26th, this is how she felt about the relationship, which wasn’t good.
• “I get snapped at, told my accent and voice are annoying”
Oscar admits that he did this. He explains that she was putting on an accent the day before for a role that she was preparing for. They were having a serious conversation about the house that he was buying and she was speaking in the accent the whole time. It annoyed him and he asked her not to do it. Nel points out to him that again, it’s all about him. It’s all about his house and what is she doing uses these voices. Oscar agrees that’s correct. He answers all of these questions very softly, very sorrowfully.
• “stop chewing gum”
Oscar explains that they had been at a function. He had been previously reprimanded by his management for chewing gum. So he told her to stop chewing gum, it doesn’t look good on camera. He said he was just helping her because he didn’t want her to look bad on camera.
• “Don’t do this, do that. You don’t want to hear stuff and you cut me off. Your endorsements, your reputation, your impression of something innocent blown out of proportion fucked up a special day for me”
Nel points out again that it was always about Oscar. Everything that was important to him is all that mattered. Oscar agrees that is how she interpreted what happened.
• “I’m sorry if you truly felt that I was hitting on my friend Sam’s husband, and I’m sorry that you think that little of me. I think from the outside it looks like we are a struggle, maybe that’s what we are. I just want to love and be loved. Be happy and make someone so happy. Maybe we can’t do that for each other cause right now you aren’t happy and I’m certainly very unhappy and sad.”
Oscar agrees that at that time she was doubting their relationship. Nel says to Oscar that he has humiliated her in public. Oscar admits that she took offense to some of the things that he did.
Nel then reads Oscar’s Whatsapp response to her email.
In Oscar’s text he says that he’s sorry for the things he says without thinking. He goes on to say that he was upset that she spoke to a guy and she didn’t introduce him. He wanted to be part of their conversation and she didn’t include him. He got upset and went to go eat without her.
They talk about the “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” song that was put on in the car when they were driving home during their argument. Oscar explains that it was his friend Martin who put the CD in, although Oscar told him to put it in, and Reeva could have just whispered in his ear to turn it off. Nel points out that he is turning this around on Reeva. She didn’t like the song and it’s her fault for not asking him to turn it off, not his fault for playing an inconsiderate song.
Oscar’s text then goes on to say that it wasn’t just that they had to leave early because of him, they arrived late because of one of Reeva’s friends. If they didn’t have to drive her friend they could have had more time at the party. Nel points out that again, he has done no wrong, it’s Reeva’s fault that they didn’t get to spend enough time at the party. The family of Reeva’s friend that Oscar is referring to, Gina Myers, were in the courtroom and their faces were very telling. They obviously know the whole story and it doesn’t look to me like they agree with his testimony.
Oscar points out to Nel that he did apologize to her a few times in his email, he wasn’t only criticizing her. Arguments are two sided.
They move on to another text from Reeva sent on February 7, seven day prior to the killing.
• “I’d like to believe that I make you proud when I attend these kinds of functions with you. I present myself well and can converse with others while you’re off busy chatting with fans and friends. I also knew people here tonight and whilst you were having one or two pics taken, I was saying goodbye to people in my industry and Fix wanted a photo with me.”
Nel interprets that he never gave attention to what she was doing. Oscar wanted to leave and they were 45 minutes late and he blamed her. Oscar agrees that is correct.
• “I completely understood your desperation to leave and thought I would be helping you by getting to the exit before you because I can’t rush in the heels I was wearing. I thought it would make a difference in us getting out without you being harassed anymore. I didn’t think you would criticize me for doing that especially not so loud so that others could hear.”
Oscar says only one person, Oscar’s friend and his date, heard them. It was not multiple people who heard the argument.
I think the big point in looking at a lot of these messages is two things. It’s not just that they had disagreements because of course everybody has disagreements in relationships, that’s normal. It’s about how Oscar treated her. According to Reeva’s own word in her texts he threw tantrums, embarrassed her in front of other people, told her what to do, criticized her, accused her of flirting… just basically treated her crappy sometimes and it obviously hurt Reeva’s feelings. Oscar can explain away his side, but these are Reeva’s direct words and she’s not here to defend them. Nel has to do that for her.
Again, Oscar put in his bail affidavit that they were deeply in love. He told Reeva’s parents on the first day of his testimony that she went to bed that night feeling loved. That can be hotly debated when you really start to dig in to the state of their relationship.
Character witnesses are not allowed in court because they can be hugely subjective on both sides so it’s not like they can have Reeva’s or Oscar’s friends get up on the stand to verify or refute any of this. It’s just Oscar’s word and Reeva’s texts at this point. It’s important to understand them and that is what Nel is trying to do.
• “I’m a person too”
Nel points out that this is exactly what he is trying to show the court. Reeva did not feel like she was important in the relationship. It was all about Oscar. She is saying to him, I’m a person too.
Oscar says that Reeva was a person that always stood up for herself. If she felt badly, she said so. He understands that she felt badly about how she was being treated at times, he admits that. Nel points out that in a 4 month relationship where only two months were somewhat serious, they were already in a pattern of him treating her bad, apologizing, her accepting it… and then repeating the cycle.
Oscar says that sometimes she was not happy about things and sometimes he was not happy about things, if he treated her badly he will take responsibility for that.
And then Nel says… speaking of fault and taking responsibility, let’s talk about the Tasha’s incident.
They are now moving on to Counts 2, 3 and 4 that are charged against him.
This is the Tasha’s Restaurant incident, discharge of firearm.
Nel wants to know why Oscar pleaded not guilty to this. Oscar says because he did not discharge the firearm.
Nel reminds him that he had the firearm in his hands at the time it went off. Oscar says he did not have his finger on the trigger… then he says he doesn’t remember having his finger on the trigger. And the fun begins. The looks on Nel’s face and Van Aardt’s face were priceless during testimony today. They are just in disbelief at some of the answers that are being given.
Nel challenges him, did you or didn’t you have your finger on the trigger? Oscar states he did not have his finger on the trigger.
So Oscar is in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but he didn’t discharge the gun. Oscar says he tried to make sure that the firearm was safe. He noticed one bullet in the chamber and at that point when he was turning to ask Darren why he had given him a gun that was “one up”, the gun went off.
Nel tells Oscar that he just refuses to take responsibility for anything.
Nel asks him if he believes that Darren was negligent in this incident. Oscar says they were both negligent, he for taking a gun under the table and Darren for handing it over with a round in the chamber and the magazine in.
Oscar admits that handling that gun in the restaurant was a stupid and negligent thing to do.
Nel asks him what happened to the ejected bullet. Oscar says that he thinks Mr. Loupis phoned Darren or Kevin and told them that he had the projectile, he found it in the restaurant.
Nel tells him he is not asking about the projectile he is asking about the cartridge. What happened to the cartridge? Oscar says he has no idea. Nel tells him that’s not true, that he had it. Oscar says he doesn’t remember that at all.
Nel asks him again and Oscar says are you asking me about the round (the bullet) that fell out when I made the gun safe and Nel says yes. Oscar then says it fell out on the seat, he must have given it back to Darren at some point but he doesn’t remember when.
Nel had made a mistake here… he should have said bullet, not cartridge.
There was a bullet that ejected out of the gun when Oscar did the maneuver (cocking) to make the gun safe prior to it going off. It appears that Nel is implicating that Oscar took that bullet. Oscar says this is not true. He remembers that when he tried to make the gun safe, a bullet ejected out on to the seat and as he turned to ask Darren why he gave him a gun when it was “one up”, the gun went off. Oscar said he wouldn’t have just left the bullet there, he would have taken it and given it back to Darren.
This really makes me pause. Nel is accusing Oscar of taking a bullet from Darren’s gun. Oscar is strongly being evasive about having his finger on the trigger yet the gun went off. It can’t go off unless somebody pulls the trigger. There have been insinuations made that this was no accident. I really wonder now what exactly Oscar was doing with this gun and whether or not it really was an accident. Either way, the gun was in his possession and it discharged. Four people testified in court about it. And he admittedly covered it up by Darren taking the fall for it. I believe he is going to be found guilty on count 3.
Nel wants to know why he was even looking at the gun in the first place. Oscar says he was considering buying that type of gun. Nel establishes that this would be in addition to all of the other guns that he had ordered from Sean Rens. Oscar states that he had applied for a license to be a firearms collector.
Nel asks him again why he wanted to see it. Oscar goes on to explain that this manufacturer makes different types of this gun where you can attach a flashlight to it. When he was overseas he had purchased the flashlight for this type of gun because it was cheaper to get it there and he wanted to see if that firearm had a slide for this attachment.
Nel then states, it’s clear that you know a lot about firearms and about that particular Glock. Oscars says no he’s never owned a Glock and doesn’t know much about them. He’s grown up in a family where both of his parents carried firearms.
The Pistorius gallery is noticeably different today. A lot of weary, concerned faces.
Nel reminds Oscar that Mangena testified about the fact that a Glock cannot go off without the trigger being pulled. Oscar says he understands. And Nel goes on to say that Roux never challenged him on that. Nel asks Oscar if he will then accept that his finger was on the trigger because that gun cannot fire without a finger on the trigger. Oscar says he cannot.
Nel asks him if he made Roux aware that his finger was not on the trigger and he says yes.
So Nel wants to know if it was a mistake that Roux did not challenge Mangena when he said it was impossible for the gun to go off without somebody pulling the trigger. Oscar says he doesn’t know. Nel tells Oscar he is now placing blame on somebody else, it’s his counsel’s fault. Nel says about Roux, “I know him, he will not make those mistakes.”
He suggests to Oscar that the reason that Roux didn’t bring it up with Mangena is because it was never Oscar’s story that his finger wasn’t on the trigger.
Nel wants to know who pulled the trigger. Oscar says he doesn’t know. Oscar confirms that he had the gun in his hand, he ejected a bullet, nobody else touched the gun, and the gun went off. Oscar says he will take responsibility for the gun going off while in his possession but he cannot say his finger was on the trigger when it wasn’t on the trigger.
Nel wants to know what he said to Mr. Loupis. Oscar says that Darren told Mr. Loupis that the gun got stuck on his pants but that he (Oscar) told Mr. Loupis he was sorry, it was his fault and he’d pay for any damages. This does not match any of the testimonies that were given by Darren, Kevin or Mr. Loupis. They all clearly testified that Darren took the blame for it, Oscar did not.
Oscar claims he completely took the blame for it. Nel reminds him that nobody that testified can remember that. Oscar understands that but he says that he did apologize and offered to pay for damages. He continues that it bothered him that it went off. He says he didn’t discuss it with anyone but Reeva.
Nel brings up a good point, he wants to know if it bothered Oscar that the gun went off on its own. If he claims his finger wasn’t on the trigger and the gun just went off, how could that not bother him? Nel goes on to say you are a gun enthusiast, you wanted to buy a Glock, the gun miraculously goes off on its own and that didn’t bother you? Oscar says the whole situation bothered him.
Nel then says to him “There’s something deeper here and that is I don’t understand, and neither will the court in my argument, that if you’re presented with a set of facts that point to you having discharged a firearm, you’re not willing to accept that. That is troubling.”
At one point during the day Nel even said to him that he had to warn him, this will have implications. Basically meaning that if you continue to evade and lie, it is going to turn out very bad for you.
I can’t for the life of me understand why Oscar did not plead guilty to these charges. It looks so terrible for him to be clearly lying about them. Trust me, the Judge is not stupid, she knows he is evading responsibility on these. He should have bit the bullet and plead guilty to at least the ammunition charge and the Tasha’s charge and let his lawyers work out a deal. But instead… he has painted himself to be a liar. This will not bode well for Count 1, the murder charge. The more that I hear Oscar speak on the stand, it is greatly apparent to me that he truly believes he can get away with everything. I have no doubt left in my mind that he did not believe there was an intruder in the house that night. He shot Reeva with intention. But I’m jumping ahead, I’ll get to that in my future posts.
Oscar accepts that the gun was in his possession and it went off but he still won’t concede that his finger is on the trigger. He won’t even say “perhaps” it was on the trigger.
Nel asks him why he was mad at Darren. Oscar says because he handed him a gun that had a magazine and a bullet in the chamber.
Next, Nel asks him if he cocked the firearm and he says that’s correct. And then about 10 seconds later he says “I didn’t cock the gun, I was making the firearm safe.” He says he didn’t know there was a magazine in the gun and when he released the round out of the chamber, he thought he was making it safe.
First off, you can’t make the gun safe without cocking it so to say he didn’t cock it is just plain old evasion. He’s trying to use semantics.
I think the expression on Nel’s face says it all.
Nel reminds Oscar that standard safety procedures are to first check if there is a magazine in the gun and then check if there is a round in the chamber. Oscar agrees and admits he did not do that. He says it was his mistake and stupid and reckless on his behalf. He has been using that excuse a lot in court. The Judge is not going to like that.
So he checked the chamber first, saw the bullet, and instead of immediately checking to see if there was a magazine, he ejected the bullet which brought a new bullet in to the chamber which then went off. He must have pulled the trigger because the gun CAN’T go off by itself. Oscar will not admit that. The gun went off but nope, he didn’t pull the trigger.
Nel has him scrambling now and in the middle of his explanation, or I should say evasion, he says “I didn’t have time to think.” This is his rehearsed answer for the murder charge, not this charge. He didn’t have time to think. Oops, he mixed up the script. He is so reliant on that answer now that it just falls out of his mouth.
Nel says “so you are a gun enthusiast and you didn’t have time to think.”
They come back from tea and Nel continues.
Nel says to Oscar that if the gun mysteriously went off on its own, why didn’t you discuss that with Darren.
Oscar pretty much just ignores the question and gives a different answer… he says that he said to Darren what are you doing handing me a firearm that’s not safe, take it back. And he handed it to him.
Nel then asks him what he told Reeva about the incident. Oscar can’t remember, he thinks he told her that it went off while in his possession. They look at the text message that Oscar sent Reeva about that
• OP: “Angel, please don’t say a thing to anyone. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can’t afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing.”
Oscar tries to explain that he didn’t want it to be misinterpreted in the media.
Nel tells him that he didn’t want to take responsibility for it.
Nel wants to know if it was Darren’s fault. Oscar says both. It was his fault for handling the firearm in the restaurant and Darren’s fault for handing him a gun that was not safe.
Nel says this is a good example of you, not wanting to take responsibility for anything you did.
Oscar says he did take responsibility, he offered to pay.
Nel tells him that he is lying. There is no other way that gun could have gone off. You fired that gun. Oscar says he understands but he doesn’t agree.
Nel wants to know how he carries his pistol. Oscar says in a holster, he has two different ones depending on his clothing. He carries his firearm with a full magazine. He has a mechanism on his gun that is a double safety. He carries “one up” as well.
Darren and Oscar have gone to the firing range together. Nel says to him, “as a man carrying one up, did you expect him to also carry his gun one up?” Oscar says no, Darren’s gun didn’t have the extra safety mechanism that he had and was not as safe. Nel tells him that many people would not agree with that.
Nel concludes his arguments about Count 3.
Oscar admits that the ammunition was found in his safe. Oscar says there are two safes in his house. He is the only one who had control of the downstairs safe. And the upstairs safe has a combination code which several people had access to. Nels asks him if he is telling the court that he kept ammunition in a safe that several people had access to, and he says yes.
He does not keep his own ammunition in there. He had an extra magazine in his bedside table and the cleaning kit was in the safe downstairs.
Oscar says his father asked him if he could keep his .38 ammunition in Oscar’s safe. Nel wants to know who placed it in his safe. Oscar says his father did and he was not there at the time. Nel asks him if he is aware that his father refused to sign a statement related to that. Oscar says no, he’s not aware. He has not seen any statements. Oscar then says he and his father haven’t had communication between them for many years. So Nel asks him the obvious question… “Why would you allow him to put his ammunition in your safe if you haven’t spoken to him in many years?”
He’s obviously lying on this too. His father won’t admit to this because it’s not his. And if Oscar hasn’t talked to him in years why and how would he have access to Oscar’s home and his safe? Again, Oscar’s stories make no sense.
Oscar says there’s been communication but he hasn’t spoken to him. His understanding of the law is that you can ask other people to keep your ammunition for safe keeping. It doesn’t have to be your own safe. Nel reminds Oscar that in his competency test they dealt with ammunition. He goes on to say that Oscar did not answer in his test that others could keep ammunition for you.
Nel then asks Oscar if he checked his understanding of the law with Mr. Roux and Oscar says yes he did. Nel wants to know specifically what Mr. Roux told him. Oscar fumbles around here and comes up with some examples but they are not related directly to him keeping his Dad’s ammunition. Nel stops him and asks him again. Did Mr. Roux tell you that you could keep your father’s ammunition in your safe? Oscar now answers no.
Nel will not accept his ignorance on this. Oscar is a gun enthusiast and comes from a family of gun enthusiasts. He should know the law. Nel says he does not understand why Oscar didn’t plead guilty. Oscar is still rambling on about his understanding of the law but at this point it doesn’t make sense because he’s had legal counsel for over a year and they clearly know it’s illegal.
Oscar goes on to say the ammunition has been in there for a long time, he does not own a gun that can discharge that type of ammunition. Nel reminds him that he did at the time he was arrested. He had purchased a .38 from Sean Rens. He had not been licensed for it yet and didn’t have possession of it yet, but he had bought it.
Oscar agrees that he had the gun on order but wasn’t licensed for it yet. So Nel points out to him and wants to establish, because clearly Oscar understands the law, “you weren’t allowed to have it in your possession, am I right?” Oscar won’t answer, again, and goes in to his story about his understanding of the law. He even actually said that “the safe possessed the ammunition.” I can’t make this stuff up.
Nel then asks him if he’s aware that keeping his magazine in his bedside drawer when he’s not at home is illegal. Oscar is aware. Nel wants to know why he did it. Oscar says for his safety.
He confirms that he kept it in there at all times when he was home. He also confirms that he had safes in his house where he could keep it. Nel wants to know why then he kept the ammunition in his bedside table. Oscar now all of a sudden says that when he wasn’t home he kept it in his safe. There may have been occasions when he forgot. He actually says to the Judge, “I can’t stand here and lie”… ok. Oscar says that he doesn’t see what this has to do with the Count 4 charge against him and Nel tells him that he’s dealing with Oscar’s negligence as a firearm owner.
Nel says to him that if he tells Oscar that it’s against the law for him to keep his father’s ammunition, then what would he say to that. Oscar says if it’s against the law then I understand that.
So Nel says then will you plead guilty to the charge. Oscar will not, wants to talk to counsel. Nel says no, it’s too late for that. Oscar won’t plead guilty, even though he knows it’s illegal. He won’t take responsibility.
Nel asks, when Mr. Roux put in your bail affidavit that the ammunition belonged to your father, did you or anybody else try to contact his father about this. Oscar claims no. He tries to explain that prior to his bail, he was in a prison cell. After he was released he stayed in his room for weeks, sleeping. Interesting… in the very beginning of his direct testimony he stated that he couldn’t sleep. Had such terrible nightmares. Eventually they had to put him on sleeping medication. Oops. He keeps going on and on and when he finishes Nel says “are you done?”
Nel asks if his brother, sister or Uncle told him that his father would not sign a statement. Oscar says no. He goes on to say that all he knows is that the police gave the ammunition to his brother and Oldwage when they were at the house on Feb 14th. The police told them they could take the ammunition along with other items. They did not take a register of the items. He claims that Oldwage asked one of the officers if they wanted to take an inventory of what they were taking and the officer said no, it didn’t bother him. Later that day, they were called to return the ammunition which they did.
Nel concludes his argument for this charge.
This is the Vaal River incident, illegal discharge of firearm.
He talks about that day. There were about 8 to 10 friends out on the water. They were in a boat and some people went wake boarding. Nel wants to know where his firearm was when they were on the water. Oscar says it was on him. Nel wants to know why. Oscar says he took it with him everywhere he went. He would not leave it in his car.
He goes on to say that when he jumped in the water to go swimming, he left his gun on the towel in the boat. Nel asks him, don’t you think that’s negligent to leave your loaded “one up” gun on a towel in a boat unattended? Oscar says they were a close group of friends on the boat and they were in the middle of the water. Oscar does not consider this to be negligent.
Nel says “It’s the strangest day, you just won’t take responsibility for anything. Any gun owner would say it’s negligent, why can’t you do that?” Oscar finally agrees it was negligent.
Nel asks him what he was wearing and he says shorts. So Nel wants to know if his firearm was visible. Oscar can’t remember if he was wearing a shirt. Nel wants to know if Oscar wasn’t wearing a shirt, where would the firearm be. Oscar says in his holster on his person. Nel wants more detail, where would it be. Oscar says it would be clipped to his shorts. Nel then says it would be visible to everyone. Oscar doesn’t seem to want to concede this. He can’t seem to answer where it would have been but it’s his gun and his holster that he wears every single day, how is it that he can’t explain where he would be wearing it?
Oscar testifies that when they left that day and got back in the car that his gun was in the holster on his hip. Darren Fresco testified that he kept it on the seat between his legs.
Nel asks him when they were stopped by the police, what did he do with his gun? He says he left it on the seat and closed the car door. He didn’t want to approach the police with a weapon on him. Now this I can understand. However, legally you are not supposed to take your firearm off of you and just leave it in a car. Oscar admits that he understands this.
When the police found the gun on the seat, they shouted out wanting to know whose it was. Oscar walked over and said it was his; he’s a licensed firearm owner. Nel points out to Oscar that the police officer had every right to investigate that weapon. Oscar says the police officer removed the magazine and threw it on the seat and ejected the bullet out of the chamber and it fell in the car. Nel tells Oscar that the officer was within his rights to handle the gun. He also points out that Oscar had his gun one up, with a magazine in it, on the boat with his friends. Previously he claimed he couldn’t remember if it was or not.
Next, Oscar says he asks the police officer to hand him his gun back and the officer threw it on the car seat. He made a comment to the effect of “do you know what I can do with this firearm?” Oscar says he ignored him and started putting the magazine back in the firearm and looking for the round under the seat. The officer lit a cigarette and walked away. Another officer came over to help them look for the round in the car.
Oscar admits he was agitated at the police officer. If the officer had dealt with the situation in a more professional manner, he would have been more understanding. Oscar felt the officer was being aggressive by saying do you know what I can do with this firearm. Nel asks him quite sarcastically, what did you think he wanted to do… did you think he wanted to shoot you. Oscar says he doesn’t know what he meant but he did say it in a violent manner. Oscar says he was agitated so he ignored the officer.
This appears to be the classic Oscar we are now getting to know… hot-headed, irresponsible, moody, entitled. But as Oscar pointed out by his own admission, he doesn’t want the media or the world to really know what’s going on in his life. I can see why.
At this point in testimony, the Judge puts down her pen and crosses her arms.
After Oscar reassembled his gun, he put it back on himself.
Nel asks if he knows Mr. Bay. This is the man who was assisting Oscar with the paperwork that he needed for the firearms he purchased from Rens. Oscar does not remember if he went to his house that day. Nel says if he shows him a picture that he took with the man’s daughter, would he remember. Oscar does recall on one occasion taking a picture with his daughter and his wife. Oscar then agrees it may be possible that he was there that day.
Nel asks Oscar if Samantha’s ever been to Mr. Bay’s house. Oscar doesn’t know. He’s not even sure if he’s been to his house. But Nel points out that Oscar just talked about the picture he took with his family. Oscar says he met him in a residential area, he’s not sure if it was his house.
Nel asks if there was ever an occasion where Oscar, Samantha and Darren all went to a residential house in that area. Oscar says no he doesn’t think so. Oscar understands that Samantha testified that they did. And Mr. Roux gave her a heck of a time about not knowing the exact location of the house. Yet Oscar isn’t sure where Mr. Bay lives either. Nel points that out to him.
Oscar then says Samantha Taylor was lying on the stand about many things. Nel wants to know if Darren Fresco was lying on the stand too. Oscar says he’s not necessarily saying that. Oscar points out to the Judge that they had differing stories about the shooting out the sunroof. They differed on where it happened, how it happened and why it happened.
Nel tells him that he’s arguing the case, not answering the questions. And also points out that if Oscar can’t remember going there that day, but Samantha and Darren can, wouldn’t that mean that they are likely correct. Nel points out that since Oscar can’t remember, he can’t say they’re wrong. Oscar says he doesn’t want to argue with Mr. Nel. Nel says he’ll remember that for the future.
Oscar flat out denies that he ever shot out of the sunroof. He said “that story was fabricated.” Nel says that’s a bad fabrication then, considering some of their details don’t match, because they haven’t spoken to each other.
Oscar says they have been in contact, they’ve been seen out at the same events. Nel reminds Oscar that when they both testified that they hadn’t had communication with each other, Roux never challenged them on that. Nel says sarcastically, looks like your legal team slipped up again.
He wants to know who told Oscar that they had been in communication and Oscar says he can’t recall. Obviously he would recall. Nel starts laughing and the gallery laughed as well. The Judge was not pleased with this and reprimanded all of them, including Nel, which was the appropriate thing to do.
Nel asks Oscar, if somebody testified that his gun was between his legs on the car ride home from the Vaal, what would he say to that. Oscar says that was not the truth. Nel reminds him this is yet another thing that Mr. Roux did not challenge. If it had been a lie, it would have been challenged. Roux does not miss things like that.
Nel jumps to the early morning hours of February 14. He asks Oscar how many shots he fired. Oscar says four. Nel asks if it was two double taps. Oscar says no, quick succession. Nel asks if he knows that for a fact. Oscar says “that’s correct, My Lady”. Nel, “because you can remember it?” Oscar, “that’s correct, My Lady”. Nel asks if it’s a reconstruction and Oscar says no.
Nel asks, why would Mr. Roux tell Mangena that they were double taps. Oscar is not sure. He says in the first break after testimony he corrected Mr. Roux. Nel wants to know why Roux would put something to the court that is not Oscar’s version; Mr. Roux would not do that. Oscar ponders that perhaps it was from when Oscar talked to him about double taps in training. His answer didn’t really make sense. Nel says no… he said to Mangena that “it’s your version that you fired two double taps.” Oscar says he did not tell Mr. Roux that he fired a double tap at any point.
This next exchange is important…
Oscar says he does know that he fired in quick succession because that is what he remembers. Nel wants to know how he remembers that. Oscar can’t explain how he remembers something. He said he didn’t know how many shots, he later found out four. So Nel asks “if you can’t remember how many shots, how can you remember quick succession.” He doesn’t know how he remembers.
Nel asks him if he remembers firing at the door. And he says yes, I remember firing at the door.”
Nel asks him if he remembers aiming at the door. His answer is “I remember pulling the trigger and rounds going in to the door.” Nel asks, how do you remember the rounds going in to the door. Oscar doesn’t understand this question. Nel asks “did you see them going in to the door” and Oscar then says “that’s where the firearm was pointed.”
Nel asks “did you fire deliberately?” Oscar says no.
Nel says “you’re still with accidentally?” Oscar says he fired out of fear, he interpreted it as somebody coming out of the bathroom, he didn’t mean to pull the trigger. Nel wants to make sure he understands his answer “I never meant to pull the trigger?” Oscar says that’s correct.
Nel asks, “so you never wanted to shoot at intruders coming out of the bathroom?” Oscar answers, “I didn’t have time to think about it, My Lady.”
Nel says no, answer the question. “You never deliberately pulled the trigger so you never wanted to shoot at intruders coming out of the toilet?” Oscar, “that’s correct, My Lady.”
Nel asks, “so whatever happened in that bathroom, the noises, what happened the whole night, never caused you to pull the trigger, it went off accidentally?” Oscar answers, “that’s the opposite of what I’m saying, My Lady.” Nel states, “no, it’s not.”
Nel asks, “if you waited a second to see if the door would open, you would not have fired?” Oscar answers, “that’s a possibility, My Lady.” Oscar then says “if Reeva had spoken to me then I wouldn’t have fired.” I find this response disturbing.
Nel pushes Oscar harder, “why did you fire?” Oscar is starting to get weepy again. He says because he heard a noise inside the toilet that he interpreted as somebody coming out to attack him.
Nel asks, “and when you heard that, you just started shooting, accidentally your finger just pulled the trigger?” Oscar answers, “I started shooting at that point, at the door.”
So Nel challenges him “it wasn’t accidentally?” Oscar says he’s getting confused with this accidental talk. Oscar, crying now, says “I didn’t have time to think, I fired my weapon.”
The point of this argument here is that he fired his weapon and he did it because he was scared, he intended to do it… he ran to that bathroom with his loaded gun and shot the bullets because he was scared (according to his version.)
But even under his own version, he won’t concede to that because it will be considered homicide. He pulled the trigger, but he can’t say that he meant to do it. This is his dilemma. In my opinion, he never wanted to take responsibility for intentionally killing Reeva so he came up with his crazy intruder story never fully understanding that it could still lead him to a murder conviction. He did not have a right to shoot anybody, intruder or not, simply because he heard a noise in the bathroom. He is totally in a pickle on this one. And that is primarily why he is crying on the stand. Because he knows he’s screwed. It’s possible his emotions are partly for Reeva, they likely are, but I mostly think they are because he knows that he has ruined his life.
They break for lunch.
Part 2 of Day 19 will be posted on my blog on Sunday, along with Day 20. Thank you everyone for reading and sharing my site! I greatly appreciate it.